By Wendy Harron - May 24, 2012

IM for Kids with Cancer?

I have had the privilege of working with many children who are recovering from their bout with cancer. I have had many children who have gone through intensive chemotherapy and radiation that are left with some motor challenges after their treatment is over. These kiddos are near and dear to my heart, as a child in my family was one of the victims of the terrible thing called cancer. His diagnosis was sudden and tumor removal surgery was scheduled within a few days. When he awoke from surgery, you could tell things were “different”. His speech was slurred and his movements were shaky. His balance was very impaired, as we watched the little soccer star have difficulty with every step. His parents were just heartbroken. Chemo and radiation followed the surgery as well as a bout of rehab which included IM as part of his therapy regimen!

In combination with his traditional OT, PT and Speech, IM provided a nice challenge for him. He enjoyed working on beating his score each visit and really didn’t realize that his balance and motor skills were improving. As an adjunct to his traditional therapy, IM really seemed to enhance the treatment that he was getting and improvement was seen faster – it worked very well for him.

Another child that I am working with is 6 years post his original diagnosis. We did IM with him when he was newly diagnosed, and are doing it again with him now. He is in a much better place health wise now, however continues to struggle with things like balance, crossing midline and fine motor skills. He also has some learning issues. Although we are only 8 sessions into his treatment plan, his mom is already seeing a difference in him. He is participating in conversations at home and school! Mom reported that usually they had to pull information out of him, but he is giving it willingly now and people are noticing.

If your child is going through treatment for cancer, and is having some motor issues, you should ask your therapists about IM, or go online to to see if there is an IM provider near you. From my experience, it really helps to give these kids the edge that they deserve to help them gain more during their recovery process.

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