Special Needs Massage Therapy

I’d been wanting to get Parker hooked up with someone experienced in special needs massage therapy.  Interestingly enough, in the state of Utah kids on regular Medicaid waivers are covered for special needs massage therapy.  Kids like Parker who are on a waiver.  Not so much.  Don’t ask why.  I’ve given up trying to understand the decisions this state makes when it comes to kids with special needs.

I was hesitant at first.  I needed to find a place that I felt confident in and who practiced tried and true techniques, staying far away from anything that seemed too…..what’s the word here……..like voodoo.  Way back in my younger days a friend and I had a few experiences with someone who was a Reiki Master and let’s just say I won’t be going down that road again. I don’t know if it was the Reiki or the Master, but something was truly off.  My friend got into it way more than I did and her consequences with this Reiki Master were epic.  And not the good kind of epic either.

After doing some research I discovered that Primary Children’s Integrative Medicine Clinic offers different forms of massage therapy, but that include almost 2 hours of drive time PLUS fuel costs.  Instead I discovered a place that comes to your home instead.  They service most of the kids who have the type of Medicaid that pays for massage therapy.

It’s suggested that a child experience an hour of massage therapy a week for optimal results.  I chose to go with 1/2 an hour a week because a)  I was skeptical and b) we were paying $30.00 per half an hour.  An hour would have been $50.00.

I have to say that we DID see some pretty exciting results.

A little boy with Down syndrome getting massage therapy.

Parker sleep schedule improved.  He was no where near as hyper before bedtime AND he fell asleep much faster.  Score!

Parker’s bowel movements became much more regular and a better texture.  I actually started to have the belief that I might be able to poop potty train this kid.  Because Parker is a former IA and ostomy kid that is HUGE.  HUGE.

A little boy with Down syndrome getting massage therapy.

We noticed MUCH fewer sensory melt downs.  He was over all much calmer and a happier kid.  His home teachers/therapists kept commenting on the difference.

And this was just after a couple of months at a half an hour a week.

A little boy with Down syndrome getting massage therapy.

Unfortunately, it’s looking as though we are going to have to give up the massage therapy due to finances.  Story of my life.  It’s one thing to have to tighten up the budget, another when that tightening means cutting out things that actually work for Parker.

It’s nice to know that these techniques do work for our Brave Hero and hopefully when our ship comes in (ha!) we’ll be able to start the massage therapy back up.  Sometimes that’s just the way things are.

Who else has tried Massage Therapy or other alternative therapies on their kids with special needs?  Was it successful?

 

About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.

Comments

  1. Hi Tammy,
    I just wanted to let you know how happy I am to hear about the ways in which Parker has benefited from massage therapy. I have been a massage therapist for over ten years, and just completed Tina Allen’s (Liddle Kidz) pediatric massage certification training (I have been certified to teach infant massage for several years). Healthy touch is such powerful medicine! I hope that the therapist you were working with taught you how to massage Parker so he can continue to benefit. Thanks for sharing your story. Wishing you all the best!
    Sarah

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