Therapy tailored to Mason’s needs

By Luisa Bustos, 8 April 2019 , Comments

“I’ve found having professional guidance makes such a difference. Our Northcott physiotherapist, Di, is lovely and so passionate. She shows us the best way to use equipment and how we can apply her strategies in everyday life with Mason.”

Mason has riboflavin transporter deficiency, a rare neurological condition which affects his vision and hearing and has weakened most parts of his body. It means he has a lot of complex needs. His mum Vanessa says accessing physiotherapy and support services through Northcott has made a big difference to his development and progress over the last two years.

Vanessa first connected with Northcott in September 2016 after the physiotherapist Mason had been seeing retired and the Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children (RIDBC) suggested a larger organisation like Northcott could provide the support Vanessa needed. Mason’s condition is extremely rare and knowing how it will progress for Mason is difficult.

“We’ve been given everything from pointers on how to improve things for Mason to equipment that I can use at home. We have also done hydrotherapy, which was great because Mason loves the water. This broke down the barriers of someone coming into his home and making him do stuff. He was having fun and we were doing physiotherapy at the same time,” Vanessa explains.

Di visits Mason fortnightly for a one-hour session focused on building his strength and abilities. Vanessa says he has made great progress over the past few years, going from lying on the floor to pushing himself around.

“He now sits up by himself and scoots around on his bottom. He also goes in his stander and walker. He’s definitely supporting himself more and becoming a lot more independent with sitting. He also gets up on his knees.”

Being able to sit up has made a huge impact on Mason’s ability to interact with his surroundings and other people. Lying on the ground meant Mason had limited vision and was restricted in his ability to socialise and play with toys.

“When he started sitting up, Mason became more independent and then more social so it was a big milestone.

“I would definitely advocate for a larger organisation, especially for a child like Mason who has complex needs or a condition that’s not so common. Di knows what is going to work with Mason and what’s not. I think that’s what I appreciate the most – just that understanding of Mason. She can adapt and work around Mason’s needs. And she makes me feel like I’m doing a good job. I’m just really appreciative that we can work together for Mason, with him and get the best for him.”

Related content

Interested in therapy for your child? We offer group therapy sessions in certain areas across NSW. Find out more here.

Read about how our speech therapist, Candice Slosu, developed a tailored approach to support her customer James to develop his communication skills.

This story first appeared in the Northcott Annual Report 2017–18.

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