Chidera is a Special Ed.Intern who works with sensory care Pediatric services.
Why did you choose to be a therapist? I chose to become a therapist because I love working with kids, it's fascinating watching their various developmental stages especially the cognitive.
Area of interest? My area of interest has always been speech and cognition. This is because there is nothing like hearing and seeing a child expressing him/herself properly. When a child has a challenge in this area, it is really saddening because, the child wants to communicate, wants to be asked questions, wants to ask questions and also joins his pr her classmates during playtime in fun activities, chatting lively like other children. So as a therapist, teaching a child various words and how to merge them to form sounds and then sentences which will then be used in expressing him/herself gives me a sense of achievements like I’ve actually impacted on this child’s life.
Pros of being a therapist/things I like about my vocation? For me, one of the pros of being a therapist is that it gives one the opportunity to be creative, to think out of the box, to brain storm and search for the best possible means/approach to a child’s challenges by putting yourself in the child’s shoes, basically not conforming but going out of your way to make the child improve. One of the things I find really interesting about my vocation is its flexibility. It does not take up my whole time since typical therapy session last 2-3 hrs so it gives me time to rest and plan for the next session. It also leaves me time for myself and my family. For me, Therapy is fun and really interesting.
Image Courtesy: pinterest.com
Things I dislike about my vocation As much as therapy sessions are fun and interesting, sometimes they can really be boring especially when we continually work on a certain activity that the child has not grasped i.e repetitive work and then after he or she finally gets it, we still have to do the maintenance drills so he/she does not ever forget,so ..yeah,it can be boring at times.
What’s the happiest and saddest moments in therapy? My happiest moment in therapy is seeing the child improve in a certain task or reaches a milestone. It gives me great joy. It makes me even happier when the parents see the improvements and are really excited and appreciative. It motivates me to do more.
My saddest moment in therapy is after weeks of doing the same drill and child finally seems to be getting it and has even finally gotten it, even down to maintenance drills, then all of a sudden, he/she just behaves like they’ve never heard nor seen what you’ve been hammering on for weeks. It makes me sad cos it feels like I’ve been wasting my energy and time doing that activity.
Humphhh…I have to start all over again doing that again until the child understands. Also when the child’s parents notice the improvement but are not appreciative, it makes me feel bad.
Image courtesy: parentsmap.com
What are the challenges practicing in Nigeria/my location? One of the major challenges I’d say I have is the inadequate materials .Its hard trying to explain to parents that their children actually need lots of materials depending on the level of disability and condition. Therapy materials make therapy interesting and tasks, easier for the child to understand. When there are limited or no materials, this makes therapy sessions boring and challenging.
What is your favorite therapy material? My favorite therapy material is the medium sized white board. I can do a lot of writing on the board and when we’ve filled up the board, we can easily wipe it off without wasting paper or littering the whole place. We also use it to work on various grips, also for drawing especially shapes and colours. Kids love using it for pretend play (teacher role). Puzzles are my second favourite. It makes the child problem solve.
What do you wish parents knew about therapy? I wish parents knew that in therapy, you have to patient. Most parents are anxious and impatient and want to see results like yesterday. Also parents should understand that in therapy, lots of educational and fine motor materials are needed for the child to improve. They should try to commend a therapist because it goes a long way in motivating us.
Chidera is on her way to becoming a great Occupational Therapist, while she's doing that, she'll be taking care of the special diet column.
I have been getting mails about stem cell cure for cerebral palsy and other developmental disorder. I decided to do a bit of research and write about it.
Image courtesy: assymmetrex.com
What is a stem cell? A stem cell is a primitive cell that has the potential to develop into a range of cell types and form different tissues. Stem cell therapy has been mentioned as a therapeutic option for a diverse group of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson, and muscular dystrophy. Stem cell therapy involves introducing stem cells into patients to replace damaged tissues. Stem cells have the ability to renew themselves by dividing. There are 2 main types of stem cells:
Image courtesy: genengnews.com
• Embryonic stem cells that are found in the very early embryo. These cells have the potential to develop into all the different tissues and organs that the developing embryo will need as it matures.
Image courtesy: nocamels.com
• Adult stem cells that are found in the tissues of humans who have matured beyond the embryonic stage (that is, in the tissues of fetuses, infants, children and adults). The function of adult stem cells is to supply new cells for repairing tissues; for example, bone marrow stem cells develop into blood cells.
There are various ongoing researches by Scientists to develop stem cell therapies for the replacement or repair of damaged tissues such as nerves, muscle and other parts of the body. What diseases and conditions can be treated with stem cells?
Image courtesy: blog.lifecell.in
The most well-established and widely used stem cell treatment is the transplantation of blood stem cells to treat diseases and conditions of the blood and immune system, or to restore the blood system after treatments for specific cancers and muscular dystrophy. The US National Marrow Donor Program has a full list of diseases treatable by blood stem cell transplant.
Since the 1970s, skin stem cells have been used to grow skin grafts for patients with severe burns on very large areas of the body. A new stem-cell-based treatment to repair damage to the cornea (the surface of the eye) after an injury like a chemical burn, called Holoclar, has recently received conditional approval in Europe
Image courtesy: advancells.com
Stem cell and cerebral Palsy According to Eurostemcell.com fact sheet, stem cell therapy cannot treat infants nor anyone else who lives with CP, as research into stem cell therapy is still in the laboratory and clinical trial phase. Experts speculate that once the research is out of its clinical trial stages, patients will probably need accompanying forms of treatment as well, such as physical therapy and Occupational therapy.
Image courtesy: advancells.com
Stem cell and Autism Research is still ongoing and seems to be studying the causes and no conclusive treatment approach has been put forward. Patients researching their options may come across companies with Web sites that say otherwise and offer fee-based stem cell treatments. Many of these claims are not supported by sound scientific evidence and patients are encouraged to review some of the links below before making crucial decisions about their treatment plan.
Parents are advised to visit government owned research websites and not private clinic researches.
Being a parent is not easy. Nothing prepares you for the changes you have to undergo as you welcome the little one home but guess what? You're not the only one going through this and you can get help.....even after Omugwo is over. For parents to be, this is a great way to get ready for the wonderful, interesting and at times, difficult life changes that are about to occur.
It is also a good way to separate the facts about raising children from the old wives tales.
I made a list of websites that parents can go to for help. They will educate you, entertain you, encourage and inspire you. They will also support you with their forums; if you ask a question, you will be answered promptly.
They even go a step further with events organized regularly, which serve as opportunities to meet other parents, attend workshops, listen to childcare experts and really get to know one another. This for me is the best part.
Errr...some of them aren't up to date but the wealth of information there is still very helpful.
You can also find them on Facebook.
In alphabetical order
9JAMOM: As noted in the "About" column; A support community for Nigerian mothers and mothers-to-be.
BABYHOODTV : As noted in the "About" column; The most revered and referred aggregator on the babying experience.
GIDIMOMS: As noted in the "About" column; Gidimoms has a lot to offer. They want to make parenting as easy as possible in Lasgidi [Lagos]
LAGOSMUMS: As noted in the "About" column; If you're a mum or a mum to be, lagosmums.com is the place where we can survive in the city of Lagos as mums a bit more easily.
P.S. I have been to 2 events organised by her....one word...awesome!
MAMALETTE: They have said it all, "You are mamalette. You are not alone"
MUMSWORLDAFRICA: Okay this is more African than Nigerian specifically but they also have a lot of valuable information to share and as they have said....They do support mums across Africa.