Anyway, over the years we've weeded down Noah's therapies significantly. I'll be blogging about each one over the next few days. Each one is a therapist that we've been using for at least a year or so and they're the ones that I consider essential to Noah's daily life. In other words, they're the ones I go to bed praying about each night and begging God to please let them each live to be 150 and not retire early. Thank you so much, amen.
Today, we'll start with Noah's chiropractor.
1. Dr. Rosenthal
This is Dr. Rosenthal. He's Noah's chiropractor. And he's really good. (And, no, I didn't take that picture. Come on, now! I swiped it off his website.)
I love chiropractors. They do so much more than just back adjustments. And, honestly, this is just my opinion, I think they're really picking up where a lot of medical doctors leave off - especially in the field of autism. They work with allergies, sensory issues, balance issues. I find the whole field just really fascinating.
Anyway, we've been seeing Dr. R for about the last 16 months. Last summer (2009), we really hit it hard and all three kids saw him twice a week for for about 2 months. We saw enormous changes in Eli that summer. He learned to ride a bike. His balance became stellar (he started walking on ropes tied between two trees. Uh huh, he did!). This was soooo big for a kid who'd been diagnosed by an OT with a coordination disorder 9 months earlier.
Last year, we stopped going as much - mainly because our insurance changed and also because we were trying to save gas by not driving to Dallas so much. But this past summer, at the beginning of June, Noah started having huge meltdowns and started banging and hitting his head over and over again. So we experimented a bit and realized that if we go more than one week without Noah getting adjusted, then he'd start screaming and headbanging.
I don't really understand the science there, but he loves going to see Dr R. He loves getting stretched out and twisted like a pretzel. And it keeps him happy. So we do it.
Anyway, Dr. R adjusts Noah and does certain exercises with him each week and then gives us homework. I love that part! No, really, I do. I love being a part of Noah's therapy and seeing small bits of progress here and there.
Now, honestly, I can't really - in a medical type way - explain exactly what Dr R does. It involves phrases like "firing up neutrons" and "getting both sides of the brain to communicate" and other stuff that just flies straight over my head.
What I can tell you is that it involves cranial sacral therapy (which is on top of my "I really really recommend this therapy" list, body adjustments, stretching, balance games, and exercises.
And while I'll go over the exercises and equipment used in another post... just to give you an idea though, at home, we follow Dr R's exercises for Noah by using a large stability ball, a bosu ball, and a massage table. Most of the stretching is done with Noah on a massage table (that we bought at a garage sale) while I sit on a stability ball. I do a lot of foot stretching and massaging (remember, Noah also has cerebral palsy), midline crossing... cross crawl patterns, body brushing, massaging, etc. Noah stands on the bosu ball and does Captain Morgans against the wall to open up his chest (he leans forward while he walks and this has really helped his posture). We sit him on the stability ball and play "bucking bronco" while holding onto his feet. He looooves this! We'll put the stability ball in a corner and hold Noah's hands while he hops up and down on it. We'll put him in a swivel chair and spin him around and around. Things like that.
It looks really easy.... all these things that Dr R does in his office. And, I admit, there was a time when I thought to myself... "This is really nothing. I can get all of this at OT. I don't understand. How is this helping? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting my money?" And, truthfully, if our insurance hadn't changed (again!) and allowed us to see him for less than we had been paying before, I might have stopped. It's only because our insurance changed that we can afford to see him once a week.
However, after going for a year and seeing the difference in Noah from going once a month to once a week and then seeing the change from Noah only going once a week without me working at home with him to seeing the improvements from me working at home with him... (wow, is that a long sentence or what?) I can honestly say that it's a therapy we recommend.
The plus side is that he does accept insurance. Yay! Most people who work with children with autism DON'T take insurance. After we pay our deductible, it only costs us $12.80 a session. Yee haw!
Another plus side is that we only go once a week for 30 minutes and then I get exercises to do at home for the rest of the week. I'm not dragging him here and there and everywhere all week long. I get to spend time with him at home while doing his exercises. I do see progress being made.... it's terribly, painfully slow, but it's happening. And he loves it!
The downside is that it is in Dallas.... so we drive 3 hours RT once a week for a 30 minute appointment. He also has a lot of clients and gets booked up fast. The initial consultation is also a little expensive. But if he takes your insurance and your deductible is met, it can be a really cost effective therapy. Don't expect instant results (although we saw near instant results with Eli), but if you want a slower, non-invasive therapy that your child will probably like and that you can maintain at home, then you'll definitely want to check him out.
Also, if you just strictly want Cranial Sacral Therapy, Dr Adele Kestner works in the same building. We saw her for 3 years and she is amazing. She doesn't take insurance and I think (unless her prices have gone up), she charges $50 for 30 minutes. I will say, though, that cranial sacral therapy is one of my favorite therapies. Noah had really bad headaches and sleep patterns at one time... screaming and screeching and crying all the time. Cranial Sacral Therapy helped relieve that head pressure. In the beginning, we went 3x a week, then 2x, then 1x, then once every 2 weeks, then once every month.
Can you see why we ended up in so much debt? And this was the cheapest therapy we were doing at the time! (And let me tell you... if I had to do it over again, I would. In the beginning, it cost a ton, but I cannot begin to tell you how much cranial sacral helped.)
Both Dr Kestner and Dr R are Christians. They are also both very honest. They care about the patient - not the $$$. In fact, Dr Kestner referred us to Dr Rosenthal because he takes insurance. She knew we'd stop seeing her, but it didn't matter. She really cares about Noah.
You can find Dr Rosenthal's info HERE .
You can find Dr Kestner's info HERE.
Next time, I'll talk about Soma and RPM. We saw Soma last Saturday and Noah blew me away with his smarts!