Sam

| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

In June, 2013 while being a curious child, Sam fell from his bedroom window. He accidently put his body against the screen, it gave way and down he fell to the concrete driveway, 12 feet below. He was taken to the regional trauma center. Sam had experienced a skull fracture and intracranial bleed. This bleed occurred on the left side of his brain resulting in right hemiparesis (weakness), difficulty with motor planning (apraxia), unsafe swallowing (dysphagia) and impacted speech ability (aphasia).

Upon transfer to Seattle Children’s Rehab Unit, OT, PT and speech therapies were provided. His stay lasted for approximately 6 weeks. At the time of discharge, Sam was able to tolerate all foods and thin liquids. Additionally, he had made significant improvement in speech/cognition, and was able to ambulate with supervision. At a follow-up appointment with his primary doctor it was agreed to initiate occupational therapy, the one area that the community therapy clinic was not providing. The referral was made to WA Elks Therapy Program.

After observation and consulting with his parents, the focus of home visits was decided to increase awareness and use of the right side of his body, providing sensory activities, and using his hands and arms in activities. As with all kiddos, he needed activities to get rid of excess energy. Sam’s therapist decided to reintroduce soccer. Currently, they play a weekly game in the hallway, with scoring occurring when ball is kicked over banister (avoiding beautiful chandelier that hangs down to entryway).

Sam has made significant progress. He sometimes requires reminders to be aware of where his right arm is in space and to increase its use. His tolerance for new sensory experiences continues to improve. He has won every game, both board games and physical games, that his therapist has been invited to play. His competitive spirit will influence his learning and drive. With continued occupational therapy services, and Sam’s resilient spirit and determination, undoubtedly, he will achieve his goal of becoming a doctor.