Sebastian’s range of movement has improved significantly through carefully tailored support from our physiotherapy team.

Our teams always understand that everyone is different, and that good support has to be intensely personalised to have the greatest impact.

Building trust

When Anna, a SeeAbility physiotherapist, met Sebastian, she took the time to carefully work out what exercises would work best for him:

I wasn’t sure how to approach physiotherapy with Sebastian initially. Everyone has potential but you need to find what’s right for them. His cerebral palsy is severe. He doesn’t have the ability to speak but expresses himself through noises and body language. At the beginning, Sebastian didn’t even want to be touched. But I’m a physio, and touch is an important way for me to assess the range of someone’s movement.

Sebastian is supported by Anna to feel different textures

Over time, Anna found ways to communicate with Sebastian verbally. She found that he could understand tone of voice – whether she was being firm with him, or soothing and comforting. He gradually came to trust her and was happy to let her hold his hand.

After about five months of trying different physiotherapy techniques, the team supported Sebastian to sit on the gym ball. Anna recalls:

He was so happy! The gym ball was working for him! From that moment everything was easy. The work with the gym ball really improved the strength in his legs.

Building movement

His progress has been amazing. Now he can stand up from the floor using a chair without any support from the team. That means he doesn’t need a hoist so is able to be more active and independent.

Through this trusting relationship with the team, Sebastian’s range of movement continues to improve. It’s clear that the bond he’s built with the physio team is at the heart of this. One day Sebastian was bouncing on the ball when he stopped and reached out his hand.

I was working with Holly, another physio assistant. We thought that he’d had enough and wanted to stand, but he put his hand on Holly’s head and moved it to his shoulder, then put his other hand next to her. We realised he just wanted a cuddle.

Physiotherapist Anna helps Sebastian to improve his strength using an exercise ball