Amber’s mum Cheryl talks about their experiences of coming to Cerebral Palsy Scotland and the impact therapy sessions have had.
Amber is five years old and an identical twin. She’s just started primary school where she attends with her sister.
Amber is severely disabled. She has cerebral palsy which affects all four limbs. She struggles to hold anything in her hands or do anything functional without adult assistance. She’s non-mobile and pretty much non-verbal. So we do a lot of physiotherapy, and she’s learning to use her eye gaze computer for communication.
Amber has been coming to Cerebral Palsy Scotland for about three years. And to be honest it’s been an absolute godsend to us.
Going into lockdown and shielding with the girls was really tough. For Amber, not being able to access the therapy and services we normally would, we had the issue of muscles becoming tighter and the treatment options just weren’t there.
Cerebral Palsy Scotland were so helpful in terms of giving advice – we didn’t really have anywhere else that we could turn to for help at that time. We had some sessions online and we got some strategies to help her tight muscles, which was very effective.
Then about a year ago we actually got some face-to-face sessions at Cerebral Palsy Scotland at the centre and that was absolutely fabulous. Amber really needed input by then, she had grown so much and we needed to refresh our strategies. So those sessions were really helpful because that steered us in the direction of what Amber really needed at that point in time. And having not seen anyone or done any of her regular things for so long Amber was just loving going to the sessions. There were some sessions when it was time to finish and Amber got upset and said “no” – she didn’t want to leave!
Therapy sessions at Cerebral Palsy Scotland have shown us how to bring out the ability in Amber to play, how to play with her, and they’ve helped us realise how bright Amber actually is. I think it’s also helped Amber’s engagement with her peers and her sister. Overall it has just helped Amber engage with the world around her. Every time she comes I can see she’s got this spark about her. And as a parent, the therapists have given me confidence and skills to know that I am doing the best I can to help Amber progress.
Through coming to Cerebral Palsy Scotland over the last few years, it’s helped us realise what Amber’s own little milestones are and to take great pleasure in seeing her achieve them. The experience at the centre, it’s not just therapeutic. I can see the difference in her physically while she does therapy blocks, but it’s more than that – she’s excited about things, she’s more vocal, she’s more engaged, she’s more enthusiastic. If it wasn’t for Cerebral Palsy Scotland I don’t think Amber would be getting as much out of life. I would have her in the centre every week if I could!