The main purpose of ABR machine is to enhance the number of ABR hours the families are able to perform. Typically the maximum number of ABR hours the families are able to do manually is about 20 – 25 hours a week with the average performance being around 15 hours weekly. That number of hours is most often good enough to demonstrate the efficiency of ABR Method and to bring consistent developmental progress for a CP child. However, in order to speed up the rehabilitation process, ABR machine brings the possibility to find extra reserves for working ABR hours.
The use of the ABR machine permits to increase substantially the number of hours clocked in. The machine is able to act as the second and the third provider and to extend effective ABR hours by using the reserves of the child’s daily livings – delivering ABR impacts in parallel with other routines (feeding; TV watching, sleep etc.)
Using the Machine to Apply ABR Technique while Feeding a Bottle
I am excited about the increased hours we will be able to achieve using the machine. While I know the manual exercises are the most efficient, and are the only means of applying the technique to areas of the neck and head, I also know, because of the baby on the way, that reaching our target hours for ABR will be difficult this summer (we didn't even meet our target this winter, without a new baby around). We will still aim for our goal of three manual hours per day, but having the machine will definitely give us peace of mind that Fletcher will still benefit from ABR when we are just too busy to get in the manual hours.
One of the other families we spent some time with this session was Charlie, his mom Katy, and her sister-in-law. Katy did a better job of updating in real time about our session, so go check it out over at Bird's Blog. And I will reiterate a comment I made on her blog here. While traveling for therapy is obviously first and foremost about the therapy, the experience of meeting like-minded parents is a motivating factor in and of itself. As Barbara mentioned in her comment to the same post, the natural environment (or in-home) focus of many early intervention programs, while good in many respects, unfortunately can isolate parents from the natural support groups that pop up in center-based programs. As much as Fletcher is and will benefit from ABR, I feel like as a mom I am equally benefited through meeting great moms in similar situations such as Katy and the others I had met in Montreal.