Interviewee: Mom, Daina

Son: Charlotte, 12 years old, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex with Epilepsy

Main Goal: Gain more mobility and independence

Can you describe what things were like before Charlotte began working with Breakthrough PT?

D- Before she began working with Breakthrough I noticed that as she was getting older it was getting a little bit more difficult for her to maneuver around.  She was bigger she was gaining weight and I just found that getting up from chairs, moving up and down stairs was becoming a little bit more difficult for her.

What were you most concerned about?

D- I was most concerned with mobility for her and being able to do things independently.  I really tried to give her as much independence as possible but with her lack of mobility its difficult and Im her mom and I always feel like I want to do things for her.  In terms of moving around and doing it independently and not feeling nervous that she might fall.  Those were the concerns.

Why were you seeking alternative therapy?

D- I actually was researching physical therapy places because she does receive physical therapy in school but I just didnt feel like it was enough for her.  She receives physical therapy in school, 3 days a week and we really wanted something more, more focused for her and when I found Breakthrough online and saw videos I was very intrigued and it looked really impressive so I felt like maybe this would be a good opportunity for her to get extra help besides what shes getting in school.

What kind of improvements have you noticed as a result of her working with Breakthrough?

D- Ive definitely seen an improvement in her motivation and strength as well. At home Im noticing that shes able to get up from a chair more easily on her own, she wants to be where we are. Like if were in a different room, shell get up all by herself and move across the room to be with us which is something that she rarely did at this age.  When she was little it was easier for her to move around because she was smaller but as she started getting older, thats when I noticed that she kind of slowed down.  But being here seeing how shes changed within that time that weve been here.  Shes definitely more motivated to move and get up to move to a place that she really wants to be.  And also Christine works on doing stairs with her, so at home shes been able to do the stairs better, which makes it much easier for me I dont have to give her as much guidance and support so shes able to do that more independently which is something I really wanted for her, to be a little bit more independent.

And how has that impacted you and your families life?

D- It makes us so happy and proud of her to see her get up from the chair and want to move and be with us.  It makes us so proud of her and just happy that she is able to get up and be with her cousins, be with her friends, instead of being very stationary in one spot, which for a long time she was. Id have to go and force her to get up and move but now if she sees something thats motivating, like video games or if were in another room watching TV she wants to come and be with us. And she does, she gets up by herself and moves herself to come be with us. And like I said the stairs have also been a huge improvement which is much easier on me, my back, physically, which is really nice.  And doing more physical activity, riding her bike. She rides her bike - that Christine most generously donated to us - she rides with her little sister through the neighborhood which is amazing that we can do stuff like that as a family. Its just really nice.

What do you love the most about visiting our office and working with us?

D- You guys are just like a family office.  Youre very supportive you get to know the clients more on a personal level which is really nice. You remember what's going on in my life, sometimes I dont even remember what I did last week, and Ill come in and youll ask me about it.  And ask me how Charlotte was doing with something that might have happened in school or on a vacation. Its very personable, also you know, you push Charlotte.  You push her to do things that I might be nervous about. You push her to be better which I want her to better too, but for me as her mom I just feel Im nervous to try things.  Where as if she comes in here and Christine shows me how to do it and she practices it, it makes me more comfortable with trying things at home with her.

How has working with Breakthrough helped you feel about your daughter’s confidence and mobility?

D- Well like I said before Im very happy. And shes very excited to be here, she comes in very happy. When Charlotte doesnt want to do something you really, really know, and she would fight me but when she walks through the door shes happy and shes laughing and shes having a good time.  Christine always makes it fun for her, pushes her but in a silly way.  Charlotte is working really hard every time she comes in here.  She works really hard every day of her life to do the simplest things so for her to be pushed to walk on a treadmill, and do squats with weights on her feet and things like that and still want to come and still have fun.  I think it says a lot about your office that she wants to be here and she wants to work hard so I think her confidence is building that way, that she sees she can do it, it makes her happy so of course her confidence is going to build from that.

What would you want other people to know about working with Breakthrough?

D- I would say, if youre nervous to try it to just give it a shot.  Its definitely a different way of approaching physical therapy, but I feel like for Charlotte, for my daughter, its been amazing for her.  I would say if you really want a place that provides the individualized attention and you're not just another client coming through the door, like youre really going to be a person to them like you guys treat us like were people.  You know all the ins and outs of our lives. I think that individualized attention and the fact that it's a different way of approaching physical therapy and getting a little bit more out of it then what the typical school physical therapy would provide for your child.  I think it's given Charlotte more then what she could get with just going to school physical therapy.

Is there anything else you want to add, or that you want people to know?

D- As like, personally for my family, Im excited that you guys offer the sibshop because Charlotte has a sister and I really think that it's important for the siblings to be a part of what's going on in the world of their sibling who may have special needs. One day, and Christine keeps telling me that Aubrey is going to be old enough to get there and do that, so thats very exciting.  Like I said I like that you offer that as well to your clients.  And Chance is here, a dog who is super cute and takes part in the sessions so why not come and meet Chance!