Progress Report

So I’ve got appointments with the physiatrist and neurologist next week. ABR encourages us to tell our doctors about the therapy, and I’m dreading that conversation. Dreading. It. I know how doctors are going to react to this stuff and I don’t feel like I should have to defend my decisions. I mean, my money, my baby, my research. Still, I’m sure there will be some splainin’ to do next week. As I usually do, I’m going to list Charlie’s accomplishments since our last visit. Typically, I don’t end up repeating this list verbatim, but it help put things in perspective.

Charlie can:

  1. Can figure out how a variety of toys work–levers, sliders, switches, and buttons.
  2. Uses individual fingers to operate buttons.
  3. Commando crawls–can do it across a room.
  4. Claps on command.
  5. Shows awareness of routines such as asking for food in restaurants, reaching for light switches, “helping” with getting dressed, lifting hand in high chair, and doing appropriate motions during songs.
  6. Can take off socks and bib.
  7. Knows where things are if they have been covered up.
  8. Makes “g” sound.

Since October:

  1. Prop sits with one hand off the ground–occasionally lifts both hands.
  2. Rolls onto his stomach.
  3. Rides in a grocery cart without safety strap.
  4. Grabs the spoon while being fed and places it in mouth.
  5. Reaches for things of interest outside of immediate grasp.
  6. Can identify nose and mouth.
  7. Chooses activities using choice cards.
  8. Has begun initiating steps in Rifton Gait Trainer.
  9. Spit-up has gone down 90% (or more). We went down 90% with ABR and were able to ditch Prevacid. He doesn’t spit up at all if we eliminate cow’s milk.
  10. Makes longer and more varied sounds.

When I write this list it’s clear that while Charlie is continually making progress, he’s seen some real big jumps in gross motor since we started ABR. I just cannot say enough good things about therapy. If you’re on the fence and can’t decide, then I say, “get thyself to Canada!” If you regret it then I’ll be completely shocked. I felt like a complete lunatic heading off to a foreign country to pursue “alternative” therapy, but it has been completely worth it. Plus, the exchange rate is pretty favorable right now, so no time like the present to put down a deposit. I’ll be frank about finances and say that we have received several generous gifts from our family that has made this whole journey possible so far. We have no idea about the future. I do know that if it has to come from savings then it will. If I have to put it on a credit card and pay a ridiculous percentage then that’s OK too. I can’t put a price on hope and that is what ABR has given us–hope that our child will have more and will be able to do more.

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  1. Evening! Just finished the last of the holiday cards. Woo hoo.

    Charlie is making AMAZING progress. Really. How can the doctors not be impressed?!! ABR seems to be working for him. And, wait a sec, those docs don’t have to be impressed–YOU are seeing Charlie’s progress, right?

    We never tried ABR. Max used a Rifton similar to Charlie’s. Max was commando crawling until 2, when he started doing a quadriped crawl, and then at 3 he walked. His gait’s pretty decent now.

    OK, I think I am actually not going to stay up till 1 in the morning doing blog stuff and am going to try to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Good night!

  2. WOW! Charlie progress is excellent.
    I am going upstairs right now to do the 1 hour of Thorax excercise (that will make 2-1/2 hrs today YAY!)

    You are doing a great job with Charlie and applying the ABR technique like a PRO.


  3. Oh Charlie is doing really well! Keep up the great work!

  4. (From one Dork to another…)

    I’m encouraging you to let-go of your anxiety over talking to the physicians. A couple of ways to look at it….You don’t do EXACTLY as the ABR people tell you – I’m remembering someone said they say their technique should be done exclusively. You use many other approaches with Charlie. So if you choose, just don’t bring it up with the traditional MDs. Voila! No more worry, eh?


    Cut the defensive mode for anyone who challenges your decisions. You know what’s best for your child. That is true for ALL medical care. Somehow we are encouraged to give-over our personal decision-making to professionals. You’ve taken that back for Charlie, and your decision has been affirmed. Barbara

  5. I am so glad the therapy is having such positive effects!

  6. Mel Fraase says:

    Really glad to hear Charlie is doing well!! It’s so interesting to hear about ABR – we live vicariously! I bet the gait trainer will really get him going. Keep up the good work!!

  7. Hey I just found your blog what exactly is ABR? And do you have a blog about more details of what happened to your son?

  8. My God! Charlie is sooo handsome! I’m glad that he’s having so much progress. I’ve been really busy and haven’t been on MSN at all! Just wanted to come by and see how you guys are doing!