Getting serious... GMFCS -- the acronym all of you should know and understand
Cerebral Palsy Peacenick practicalities: taming the Standing Frame

Cerebral Palsy Peacenick Practicalities: Standing Frame –out of ‘Hawks’ weapons cache and into ‘Doves’ nest. Part 1

It’s time to move from declarations and outline of the ‘Cerebral Palsy Peacenick’ philosophy to the practicalities.

Since most of the ubiquitous tools for special kids either come from ‘Hawks’ or from ‘Sensory’ people [who are just plain oblivious to biomechanical consequences of their ‘stimulating the nervous system and the brain’ actions] – we need to discuss the possible conversion: hence the title – “Cerebral Palsy Peacenick Practicalities

 I could have also called it: “Beating swords into plowshares”; “Turning Tanks to Tractors” or “Morphing Spears into Spades” or anything alike – I hope I’ve got the point across...

I came of age at the end of so-called Cold War and remember well the conversion attempts back in the late 80s in Russia – the factories that made landmines converting into the saucepan manufacturing…

Well, I must admit, it did not work very well – apparently even ‘a saucepan’ production requires some specific expertise, which is not exactly sharing the same platform with a landmine even if machinery is similar…

Anyway, I hope to fare better :-)– and the 2nd Video is very much discusses the ways how the classic ‘hawkish’ approach to a standing frame could be upgraded significantly into a ‘peacenick’ version.

However, In the 1st Part I took the liberty of touching the larger questions that resonate with the previous post on GMFCS curves – facing the reality in sharp precise details rather than blurring into a shapeless amorphous cloud.

I used the standing frame use example to repeat the fundamental deepest  developmental challenge of any child with Special Needs and Cerebral Palsy especially– ‘A Win-Lose Dilemma’.

Obviously this is not an ‘appealing’ or ‘attractive’ name to begin with, however, I do plan to stick to it since it reflects the reality very well.

I fully understand and accept that at a certain point a familiar strategy of “let’s keep it vague” might be a helpful one. For some people this approach works really well – they just look at the facets of a child’s condition that they are able to relate to and ‘chop away’ anything uncomfortable.

However, if you are one of those people you’d be a very unlikely person to show any interest in Do-It-Yourself home rehabilitation altogether, let alone being the reader for this blog. These people with a truly selective vision, capable of culling everything uncomfortable are a rare breed; and actually, the more studies/education you’ve done in your life – the less likely you are to be such a blessed one.

For all of you with a significant domain of rationale within a personality profile – this ‘blissfully unaware’ stance is not available. You wish you’d stop thinking about dreary expectations – but you really can’t.

So what happens as a result? – You find yourself on a swinging pendulum – from exaggerated optimism to equally exaggerated concerns and fears. You are easily excited (especially when a child is still young) but you are easily scared as well. That’s a heavy emotional tax that zaps one’s energy really fast; and as the years go – excitement vanishes or translates into a pure chase of “last hope” while the scares become more and more real, especially with under consistent ‘hawkish’ pressure.

That’s the cost of ‘blurring’. It’s a universal trait of a human nature that we are most stressed and demoralized by some vague gloomy threat, where the vagueness itself makes it seemingly omnipresent and incapacitating as a result.

On the other hand, we are generally pretty good in standing up to a well-defined adversary or challenge. That’s why most of today’s practical psychology is about making those fears and concerns from amorphous into the clearly articulated ones.

So, once again, I emphasize the same point – I am strongly “pro-uncomfortable-truth” that clarifies the situation and allows to devise an actionable strategy of coping, management and approaches to ‘beating the odds’.

If you are sharing the same stance – I hope that you’ll find the videos helpful and educational…


P.S. Thanks a lot for your questions and comments to the previous posts made in January. I haven’t answered much yet but do plan to do that in the couple of next posts. I believe most of the questions and comments are of value for many parents – so it would be better to answer the questions in a more public way.

So for the next few days – please send your questions…

P.P.S. The other night I had a ‘Jackie Chan’ dream – (weird isn’t it? – considering the fact that the last time I watched his movies was at least 2-3 years ago…) – and woke up very surprised trying to make sense out of it…

My first thought was to interpret it as a sign of striving for shorter answer – since Jackie Chan is known for being extremely quick – but I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to live up to his standards of brevity….