Parker Olenick, 4 years

As I have mentioned before, it is the children and their parents who visit us that are the truly extraordinary people associated with this work; none less so than the Olenick’s. These 3 rays of sunshine entered our lives in January of this year and have been regular visitors ever since. They always hang out in the foyer making everyone feel welcome and at ease, creating a real community among the families and being wonderful ambassadors for what we are trying to do. Parker introduces himself below, possibly with a little help from Kevin and Samantha, although, as you will learn, Parker has much to say for himself!

Hi All,

My name is Parker.  I am four years old and I have cerebral palsy.  I was a born ten weeks premature and weighted three pounds, ten ounces.  I spent six weeks in the neonatal ICU.  When I was two and half, the doctor told my parents that I had brain damage.  I thought something was up when I couldn’t walk like my friends.  The doctors said that I should start physical therapy, so I did.  My parents took me to therapy twice a week for a year.  The therapists gave me braces for my ankles called AFOs.  They also gave me a gate trainer which most people call a walker.  I really enjoyed this set up as I was now able to walk by my self and get around more easily.  After a full year of therapy the therapists measured my range of motion.  My muscles had become more spastic.  My range of motion had decreased.  In fact I had gotten worse.   Fortunately, my parents are brilliant.  As soon as they were told of my brain damage, they started investigating all sorts of therapy.  They noticed that the therapy we had been doing focused on the problems with my legs and muscles.  But what about the damage to my brain?  Thankfully, we were introduced to The Anat Baniel Method through our neighbor who’s close friends travel from Australia for lessons from Anat and her staff.  My parents checked out the website, watched some videos, and did some more research.  They though this method was definitely worth some more investigation.  So, they made an appointment for me to go to San Rafael for some “Lessons”.  They thought that therapy focusing on my brain and how it is involved in the function of my whole system was a good avenue.  They scheduled five days of lessons with two sessions per day.  After the second day I saw some major results.  My clinical diagnosis is spastic diplagia, which means that both of my legs have very tight muscles.  The doctors call is spasticity.  Anyway, after two days I developed arches in my feet.  Before the lessons my feet were like bricks with toes.  Even my baby foot prints look like rectangular blocks with toes.  By the end of the week I felt much looser and more mobile.  My parents were very pleased.  They were telling everyone how great this new method was.  They also received an education on my condition from the practitioners.  Anat showed them how I had spasticity in lots of my body.  My back, shoulders, hips, pelvis, neck, and arms all had spasticity.  She showed us how my body should move and gave us some ideas to help.  I felt so much better that I begged my parents to come back again soon.  Now that we have been coming for almost a year I am doing great.  My spasticity is much better.  My mobility is coming along nicely.  We come to see my friends in San Rafael once a month for a week.  Every visit I develop new “tricks”.  I have much better balance, flexibility, coordination, and self confidence.  I really look forward to lessons with my friends at ABM.  They help me a lot.  Well, my parents are telling me it’s time for bed.  So, I better go.  I’ll write again soon to keep you posted as to my progress.  I have lots of fun stories to share.
Bye for now,

One Response

  1. […] Posted on May 1, 2009 by AnatBanielMethod You will remember last October hearing about Parker (see Parker Olenick, 4 years). Well I just wanted to give you an update. You can read the latest news about Parker at his own […]

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