Samantha's Success Story:

Cerebral Palsy

 

Student Information

Name: Samantha*

*actual name replaced

Gender: Female

 

Age: 4

Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy​

Evaluation Dates: February 2019 & October 2019

Initial Functional Challenges: Samantha entered Jacob's Ladder exhibiting low proprioceptive awareness and gravitational insecurity, prohibiting independent walking. She was unable to complete foundational gross motor movements and progression. She displayed challenges with language accessing and production.

 

Samantha's Individualized Plan

Based on Samantha's evaluation, we created an individualized model of care to help Samantha develop a better-connected brain and reach the following emotional-behavioral goals.

Goal #1

 

Communication: Samantha communicates appropriately in moments of heightened emotionality

 

 

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Accesses Self-Regulation Strategy

2. Maintains physical safety

3. Avoids tantrumming

Goal #2

Attention: Samantha is able to manage her “fight or flight” response in daily situations

 

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Communicates the need for movement effectively

2. Stays with provider

3. Accesses bank of self-regulation strategies

Goal #3

 

Non-Compliance: Samantha displays compliance within/for demands and transitions

 

 

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Understands feedback loop of expectations

2. Follows working routine

3. Concedes to authority

 

What Samantha's Parents Experienced

"In Argentina, her therapy was OT, ST, PT 45 minutes for 2 times per week. We knew she needed more. The younger the child is the more plastic the brain is."

- Samantha's Parents

Samantha’s Functional Gains Over 8 Months

As Samantha developed the proper connections between areas in her brain, she experienced tremendous gains in her physiological and behavioral functioning. 

Starting at Jacob's Ladder

1. Low proprioceptive awareness and gravitational insecurity, prohibiting independent walking

 

2. Inability to complete foundational gross motor movements and progressions

 

3. Challenges with language accessing and production 

8 Months Later

1. Increased awareness of body and overall muscle control and coordination allowing for independent walking

 

2. Development of gross motor movements and foundational patterns that lead to higher level cortical function in the brain

 

3. Improved comprehension of more complex language, as well as an explosion of original thought statements and conversations with multiple exchanges

 

How Samantha's Brain Changed Over 8 Months

By utilizing a QEEG brain map, we were able to identify and measure where communication flow was lacking in Samantha's brain (hypo coherence) or where communication flow was locked and/or was overly-used in Samantha's brain (hyper coherence).

 

We identified Samantha's top 10 hypo coherent connections and top 10 hyper coherent connections. Based on the regions of the brain that were struggling to communicate, it became clear why she was experiencing her functional challenges.

 

Over 8 months, specific activities were implemented in her individualized model of care to normalize these connections. Below is an example of two connection improvements.  

 

Example #1 of Samantha's Brain Improvement

Communication flow between Samantha's Somatosensory Cortex and Superior Temporal Gyrus was lacking by -3.22 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

 

Through Samantha's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved her communication flow to +0.58 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Somatosensory Cortex (Left)

  • Localizing sensory input for the sensations of pain and touch

  • Mirror neurons for movement

  • Spatial perception and imagery of movements

Superior Temporal Gyrus​ (Left)

  • Links to amygdala for associations between social and emotional processing

  • Initial consolidation of memories, including storage and retrieval

Example #2 of Samantha's Brain Improvement

Communication flow within Samantha's Somatosensory Cortex was locked and/or overly-used by +4.10 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

 

Through Samantha's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved her communication flow to +1.47 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Primary Somatosensory Cortex (Left)

  • Sensorimotor integration

  • Mapping of sensory input – homunculus

Secondary Somatosensory Cortex (Left)

  • Localizing sensory input for the sensations of pain and touch

  • Mirror neurons for movement

  • Spatial perception and imagery of movements

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