Advance Cerebral Palsy Treatment Centre

 
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29th October 1997, 3 weeks late and after 3 inductions (gel) but no drugs, Benjamin Banthorpe finally emerged weighing in at a hefty 10lbs 10oz. He was beautiful and scored 9/10 on the apgar scale.

Whilst fully breast-fed, Ben thrived and put on weight - a cute, content, chubby cherub. But he didn't DO very much. He was too easy really... too happy. I noticed that he did not raise his head to suckle and that his fingers were very floppy and would bend right back and get tangled up in my clothing. His startle-reflex was very exaggerated and continued way beyond the norm. Loud noises upset Ben.

Just after Ben's first birthday, the paediatric consultant at our hospital announced that Ben had cerebral palsy; spastic quadriplegia and from that moment we were hurled into a strange new world full of specialists, therapists, gadgets and equipment.
Our life was packed with appointments and visits and endless forms to fill in; special needs groups; Musical Keys; Opportunity Group; School for Parents; Champ; our Link Carer; our Homestart Carer; our Crossroads Carer. All kept Ben highly amused but his little body was steadily growing scrawnier and stiffer. The beginnings of speech halted, he ate a healthy and varied diet yet he now looked puny and his facial expressions were limited as was all of his motor skills. Cerebral palsy had altered him in only a few months.

For the next 3 years the heartbreak continued with a few shafts of light when we tried new and hopeful therapies but all were short-lived.

Then…..ALLELUYAH! Our long and winding road of searching led us to
East Grinstead (via Hungary and lots of loving people along the way) and into the healing hands of Linda Scotson.

DIAPHRAGMS RULE OK!

Benjamin is now 5 years old and was described by the NHS as being moderately to severely affected with cerebral palsy in all four limbs with feeding difficulties and not expected to communicate using speech, not expected to do much really without a gadget of some sort to help. Yet the reality after 6 months of TST is very different and the future is much rosier...

Benjamin can...

Stay awake all day long - stay asleep all night long.

Sit at family table on a booster seat with only a waist strap.

Eat anything and everything; raw carrot, small cube of meat, nuts, crisps, de-stones olives using only lips, tongue and teeth!!!

Digest and metabolise the copious amounts of food he now demands.

Drink from any receptacle and can use a straw.

Swim for hours in a rubber ring (manages a few strokes in arm-bands).

Kneel on his heels and play with his toys or turn pages of book.

Talk the hind legs off a donkey.

Chant, sing, tell jokes, tease, shout, swear, use slang, swish and spit, purse lips, blow saliva bubbles, speak French "womage way" = fromage frais and says poppadom perfectly.

 
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