I’ve been going to therapy since I was nine days old. No, you did not misread that. Nine. Days. Old. For this reason, I consider myself a professional patient 🙂 and without these therapists I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am eternally grateful to them.
Below I have included an overview of different forms of therapy, in the order that I began them, that have been really beneficial to me:
Occupational Therapy: I had occupational therapy from nine days old until the age of fourteen. At first, I received therapy at my house. Eventually I received it in school as part of a 504 Plan1. My mom fought tooth and nail to get these services. She had to justify why occupational therapy was necessary for me to receive and, because I write with my other hand, it was often difficult to make this justification because it had to affect your progress in school.
- Occupational therapy helps with daily living activities, including fine motor activities, such as writing, buttoning, zippering, etc.
Physical Therapy (Structural and Functional): I began physical therapy at the age of two in Connecticut. My parents drove me up to Hartford at Regional Physical Therapy because it had been recommended by my occupational therapist at the time. At the age of six, I met a physical therapist named Steve Moran, at another one of Regional Physical Therapy’s offices, who I still visit to this day at Crossroads Physical Therapy in Columbia, Connecticut. (He opened his own office soon after I met him.)
- This type of physical therapy is actually considered manual physical therapy, which means that the therapists use techniques, such as craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, joint mobilization, and others.
Aquatic Physical Therapy: I began aquatic physical therapy at six years old at Hope Physical and Aquatic Therapy in Plainview, New York. My parents had been searching for a physical therapist that was nearer to our home and thought that aquatic therapy would be really beneficial.
- Aquatic therapy is great because the water makes exercises easier to do and more fluid. Additionally, having an injury to your arm affects your ability to swim, so this type of exercise is essential.
Physical Therapy (Traditional): After about seven or eight years of aquatic physical therapy, my neurologist suggested that I start traditional physical therapy to gain more muscle strength and range of motion. I received this type of therapy up until a few years ago and only go if I’m having severe pain.
- This type of therapy involves electric stimulation, massage, light weightlifting, stretching, and machine exercises.
Massage Therapy: As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had many stiff necks and pain in both shoulders, which are definitely related to my injury. These things especially spring up when I’ve been reading for an extended period of time or I am stressed at work. Three years ago, I had a stiff neck for the whole summer and sought out massage therapy. I found an amazing woman named Sharon Klein in Bellmore, New York and since seeing her, I have had significantly less pain.
- Sharon does therapeutic deep tissue massage with acupressure and cervical traction.
1504 Plan: Accommodations made for children in primary and secondary who have disabilities that affect their function in school.