Many people with cerebral palsy regularly attend physiotherapy sessions.
These help develop muscles strength and coordination. They help people with cerebral palsy learn to roll over, sit, kneel, stand and walk. Some people with cerebral palsy will never be able to do these things without support. Some people have told us Dexter would not do some of these things.
But, Dexter is incredibly determined, which is one of his biggest strengths.
He wants to improve and develop his skills.
Dexter is lucky to have an incredible physiotherapist, who has worked with him for about four years. They trust and respect each other, and Dexter wants her to be proud of him.
Dexter cannot crawl, but has developed his own form of commando crawl, which gets him across the floor.
He needs help to get into a sitting position, and is developing his core strength, to enable him to hold this position for longer periods of time. He can sit for about a minute, before falling.
Dexter needs support to push himself from a kneeling to standing position. He works on this, every physiotherapy session.
He is learning to take steps and to bear his weight.
We have hopes that, one day, Dexter will be able to walk across the room.
Dexter's weekly hydrotherapy sessions (swimming lessons) also help develop his muscles.
While some people think that, because Dexter does not run around, he does not use much energy. This is incorrect. People with cerebral palsy use much more energy than other people. (This is why Dexter is on a high calorie diet.)
To develop a better understanding of how hard many people work in physiotherapy sessions, have a go at this challenge:
Do a work out.
Run up a flight of steps or a big hill.
Run through water or dry sand.
Skip a rope for ten minutes.
Feel those muscles burn!
Physiotherapy sessions can be very tiring. Daily exercises and therapies can be just as tiring. People with cerebral palsy might be some of the most determined people you will ever meet.
**Dexter's surgeries and his nine months of chemotherapy treatments have had a negative impact on his physiotherapy sessions. He was stronger with his walking, before his femoral osteotomy. He lost strength during his chemo days.
It's heartbreaking, but we are working on regaining his strength and ability.