| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

Allyson is a typical little girl. She likes to dress up, help in the kitchen, and play outside. She just needs a little extra help. When she was 18 months old, she got meningitis which resulted in an extended hospitalization. She was eventually flown to Seattle Children’s due to complications. She had 2 strokes, resulting in oral aphasia, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty using her arms and legs. When she finally returned home, she had to relearn to sit up and walk. Her balance and postural control is still poor but is improving a little at a time. She is learning to eat again and has an n-g tube to give her extra nutrition. She is unable to speak and is learning to sign and use a communication book with pictures. She is able to use her right arm better than the left, but precision grasp and release are difficult, making eating with a utensil hard, as well as dressing, and drawing.

While she was in the process of transitioning from the Birth to 3 program into a school pre-school program, the Elks were contacted. Allyson was in need of more therapy than the school was able to offer her. In addition to that, her family was enthusiastic about the opportunity to have therapy in their home. Initially, Allyson was resistant to having anyone touch her. Over the months she began accepting therapeutic touch and trying many new tasks that are becoming new skills. Allyson’s family is also very motivated to following through with exercises that the Elks Therapist demonstrates for them. Little by little, Allyson is growing up regaining skills needed for the job of play and life.