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When Samuel was 6 years old, something happened that Ruth believes was fate. A family friend had been listening to the radio and had heard about a special centre in Somerset where children like Samuel were taught to use parts of their brain to compensate for the parts that didn't work properly. It turns out that the centre was only minutes away from where Ruth's friend lived. She gave him a call and he confirmed that he knew where it was and said that she should give them a call. Ruth did call them, filled in a form and within weeks, Samuel was offered an initial assessment by the centre.
When Ruth visited the centre with Samuel, she was amazed at how friendly and helpful they were. There was special accomodation for families who travel a long way which was basically a self catering bungalow. It was very clean and well equipped and had everything they needed to make their stay comfortable and enjoyable. During the 2 day visit, Samuel and his Mum met the staff at Brainwave, had a look around the centre and went through all the things that Samuel could or could not do.
The qualified staff at Brainwave then divised a program of physical and cognitive exercises which Samuel could do on a daily basis at home with the help of his Mum. These exercises would hopefully help Samuel to achieve his full potential and help him learn to do things that he couldn't do before.When Samuel started on the Brainwave program, he could roll over, sit up with assistance and even do a sort of commando crawl to get around.
Within a year, Samuel was able to pull himself up to standing, sit on a bench unaided and crawl properly. He could even crawl over things put in his way. Before long, he had started to recognise objects when shown a picture of them and had started to do things like clapping his hands and could even take the lid off a box and put something in it when prompted. Ruth was overjoyed at Samuel's progress and worked hard at home to ensure that he kept up with his plan. They now go back to the centre twice a year to update his program depending on his needs and abilities.
Even though Brainwave is a registered charity, Parents are requested to contribute towards the therapy program and with travel and accomodation, it costs Ruth around £1,000 per year. Ruth had to give up her job to care for Samuel. Even though he goes to School, there are weekends, school holidays and of course all the times he is in hospital, recouperating or just going to appointments . It became far too difficult for Ruth to keep her job going when she was having to have so much time off. Ruth has to constantly do fundraising to pay for Samuel's therapy and has been very lucky in the past to have kind friends and family who have helped by doing sponsored events.
With all the problems that Samuel has had over the last few years, he has been unable to keep up with the physio program. He has been in too much pain and discomfort and most of the physical excersises have been impossible for him to do. Now that his condition has deteriorated considerably, it has become obvious that he will need his program changed to include exercises which will help strengthen the muscles around his hips. Also, there is a possiblity that in the future, Samuel may lose the use of his legs completely so it is important that he has as much upper body strength as possible.
If you would like to help Samuel and other children like him to continue with the Brainwave programme, please contact us at