While tight muscles are helpful during transferring, it’s very painful for the child so we have medicine to help the child to be more comfortable. I know a young man who wasn’t been able to grow pass a ten-year old’s body size because his muscles are so tight. As occupational therapists and mentors, we want our clients tight enough to be able to sustain their weight during transfers but also be able to relax after the transfer. Children who are able to support themselves with someone holding them, are also able to be toilet trained, which makes them be like other children.
As occupational therapists and mentors, we are able to help our clients to be independent by using what they naturally have for their own good. If the child is able to do a pivot and sit transfer they are able to have one aide which helps them feel more “normal” at school. If we are able to work on this skill in therapy, we are giving the child a lifelong skill. The individuals with this skill will be able to live more “normally” by only needing a hoist and one aide at a time. The down side of this, is the child is susceptible to developing pain because of tight muscles.
We can help this by providing a blend of medication that will help them relax enough to relieve the pain but also leave enough muscle tone to do the pivot transfers. As soon as we know our client has enough tone to be able to do a pivot transfer safely, we go to work at it right away. Children with Cerebral Palsy are usually small in size so it’s easy to hold them up during transferring practice. The transfers usually look like the child is standing or the aide lifts them to where they need to go. I use the latter option, as I have uncontrollable steps so it is safer for the aide to pick me up.
- Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children