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  • Alison Wilson

James' amazing therapy team

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Well here we are, the day before we leave for St. Louis! The last couple weeks we have said goodbye to our amazing therapy team - many women who have supported James in his development. You’ll recognize many of the faces. I'll start from the very beginning:


Melinda has been with us even before James was diagnosed! She is an occupational therapist with the the Durham Region Infant and Child Development program. She started working with James in our home February 2017 when he was just 6 months old! She has been the jack of all trades, helping with motor and speech development as well as feeding and positioning.

Kate, our physiotherapist from Grandview Kids, has worked with James ever since his official diagnosis at 13 months (September 2017). She has been a wonderful support to James and to me personally as I navigate all there is to know about cerebral palsy, SDR, grants, equipment, the list goes on and on.

Monika and Fruzsina are conductors in the Conductive Education program at the March of Dimes in Toronto. They have worked with James since he was 15 months old! They have seen such a huge development and maturity in James. James was not the most agreeable with the beginning stages of therapy (that's putting it nicely!) and they stuck with it, knowing that the hard work would pay off. And it has! James goes to CE every week for 3 hours straight! He loves the program!

We did 4 intensives with Judy from Move to Learn therapy in Toronto starting when James was 15 months old. She's a physiotherapist who uses the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) method of therapy. James learned to roll after working with her.

Jo-Anne from SMILE Therapy for Kids we started seeing February 2018 when James was 18 months old and have continued weekly ever since. Jo-Anne is an expert in the field with an international reach, helping children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities. As I write this, she is in Kelowna, British Columbia, helping many children there and in December she'll be in India. Even though we drive an hour to see her each week, I'm reminded that we are lucky to have her so close. I frequently meet families who travel from the U.S and other countries to work with her and the amazing team at SMILE. She too, managed James' rocky start to therapy (I'm talking 6 months of crying during every visit!). Instead of crying as soon as we park, he lights up knowing we've arrived to SMILE. He loves it there and how much they push him. The strength he has now going into SDR, I absolutely credit to this therapy!

Also at SMILE once a week, we see Kali, an occupational therapist. She is so good with James and has added so many great exercises to his routine. She's super encouraging and also challenges James every visit. Kayla, a PT and OT assistant is also incredible with James. She distracts James with lots of encouragement, songs, bubbles, toys, etc. Kali is on the left and Kayla on the right.

Shannon, James' massage therapist I believe we started seeing regularly the spring of 2018. With James' regular therapy, massages have definitely helped with his tight muscles, especially during growth spurts. Watching the wiggles during every appointment never disappoints either!

Sarah is James' speech therapist. She started seeing James in our home weekly since August 2018. She is wonderful! She has seen big gains in James' speech since she started and communicates with our speech therapist at Grandview too. James loves all the toys she brings each week (so does Shae!)

James has worked with many ladies at WindReach Farm in Ashburn riding Max the horse. That therapy was a winner from the start!

Judy from Green Osteopathy, we saw for about 4 months starting August 2018. We appreciated her different approach to therapy. We've learned that all therapies have their place and role in James' development. We will see her again at some point when we're back from St. Louis.

And most recently, James swims once a week with Alicia, a therapeutic recreationalist from Grandview Kids. Grandview Oshawa has a warm therapeutic pool and it has been great to see him become more and more comfortable and independent in the water (I also like not having to get in the water!)

What a team effort! We are so filled with gratitude for this team of women who love James and are routing for him big time! There is such beauty in seeing how far we've come to get to where we are now - the eve of our adventure to St. Louis and SDR surgery a week today! Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and support as we prepare to leave tomorrow. Stay tuned on the blog for updates!

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