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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
awake all day long - stay asleep all night long.
at family table on a booster seat with only a waist strap.
anything and everything; raw carrot, small cube of meat,
nuts, crisps, de-stones
olives using only lips, tongue and teeth!!!
and metabolise the copious amounts of food he now demands.
from any receptacle and can use a straw.
for hours in a rubber ring (manages a few strokes in arm-bands).
on his heels and play with his toys or turn pages of book.
the hind legs off a donkey.
sing, tell jokes, tease, shout, swear, use slang, swish
and spit, purse lips,
blow saliva bubbles, speak French "womage way" = fromage
frais and says