My first experience at the Transverse Myelitis Family Weekend at Calvert Trust.
I work at Birkdale Paediatric & Adult Neuro Physio in London. We have been working with Transverse Myelitis Society very closely for some years. I was very excited to participate in the second year Family Weekend at Calvert Trust which is in a beautiful setting in Lake District.
The timetable was jam packed with outdoor and indoor activities for children with TM and their parents. A wonderful opportunity for the children to get to know each other and exchange ideas.
The Calvert Trust offers life changing experiences through variety of activities which provide positive results that last long after their stay at the centre. Children and families were organised in different groups according to activities. One group went horse riding while another went canoeing. My group went bush crafting (made fire in the woods and enjoyed marshmallows and popcorn). The views were incredible and kids bonded quickly around the camp fire toasting marshmallows. We enjoyed every moment of our time, no matter how hard the climb was. Everyone in the group supported one another with carrying rucksacks and pushing wheelchairs. Taking part in the morning activities allowed me to observe the children and talk to the parents in much more relaxed a manner.
Afternoon was filled with further activities and Q&A panels for both parents and children. Presence of medical and healthcare professionals including neuro physiotherapists brought answers to many problematic questions. Fresh ideas were offered to assist the children who were affected by this condition.
Calvert Trust allowed me to use their sensory room for neuro physiotherapy. This sensory room and its content was well publicised by me. Toys, gadgets and games to name but a few were there to have fun with and learn. Children were curious and wanted to try different things. The best way to teach children new movements is to engage them in fun activities. At best, most of them had not had any neuro physiotherapy. At worse their experiences had been very poor and patchy. So creating a calm and friendly environment was crucial for me. I wanted them to leave with a positive experience and understand that physiotherapy can help them achieve many of their goals. Children were surprised how much fun neuro physio could be. Parents were amazed how much I could achieve by using simple balance cushions, peanut balls, sensory brushes and balloons. Not a single person had experienced neuro physio implementing eye movement to direct the body. So here is where the magic happened.