As occupational therapists and mentors we have the ability to give our clients an alternative to their four limbs if they don’t work and that is their neck. I like to try their neck control as soon as we have figured out their four limbs aren’t viable sources for them to use for them to control a communication device or a power chair. We want the clients to be productive since the toddler age so they are able to start to use talkers and power chairs by the age of three.
My goal for every mentee is to get them to be independent at the pre-school age or even earlier so they can start school on time. If a child starts school on time they can be on schedule with school which means they are able to make friends easier and graduate on time. If we figure out a viable limb or body part to use then it will allow the mentee to go through life on schedule which gives the individual a higher self-esteem because they are with their peers. As someone who started school on time I want the same opportunities for my mentees as it boosts their self-esteem knowing they are on the same level as their able-bodied peers.
As a quad myself I attribute my being on time with school to an occupational therapist finding that I had the most control over my neck. If we are able to find what body part works for a child: the child is able to show their intellectual ability and they can be mobile at an early age. I don’t care how it looks as I am able to refine the system once we know the Method works for the mentee and nine times out of ten they are going to use the body part for the rest of their life.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children