Lidia’s child Irina has what is known as quadriplegia. She shares her story in her search for cure and help for her child and how the Child’Space Method has helped both Irina and her family. A blog in two episodes. This is episode one.

‘Before Irina was born I worked as a grant manager in a non-governmental organization, and my husband also worked in this organization as a psychologist. We lived (and still live) with my mother-in-law and her husband, and we hoped that I will start working as soon as possible after child birth in order to buy our own flat or at least rent something.

Right after her birth the doctors said that «you will have serious problems, as she has severe brain damage».

Her official diagnosis was Periventricular Leukomalacia in both sides of the brain with multiple cysts. The diagnosis «cerebral palsy» Irina received at the age of 1 year (In Russia the doctors always wait till 1 year). All this first year was a real nightmare for me. I cried all the time, as well as Irina. We run from neurologist to neurologist, one prescribed the one medicine, and the other prescribed the other. It was clear that they themselves did not know what to do. When Irina was 5 months old, the neurologist in the main state rehabilitation center in St. Petersburg said (I cannot forget her) – «Don’t concentrate on rehabilitation of this girl, it’s hopeless. Give birth to another child as soon as possible, otherwise your husband will leave you».
We began therapy immediately after hospital and we did regular massages (in Russia it is still considered that this is the main «remedy» for all neurological disorders), went regularly to osteopath and homeopath, attended swimming pool, worked with the physical therapist (and I think we are lucky to find her, she continues to work with Irina), etc.

Irina cried awfully all the time during all the sessions. When she was 8 months, I knew about the Feldenkrais method, and I decided to try it out. I couldn’t find anybody in Russia at that time. The nearest practitioner lived in Helsinki, and we went there. For me the first session was like a miracle – as for the first time I saw that my daughter can do something (with a stranger!) without crying. After this first lesson we went to a café for a lunch, and Irina put her right hand on the table (she never did it before). So we were very impressed by the Feldenkrais method and decided to continue.

I was searching information about a Feldenkrais training aimed specifically at working with children, and came across three options: Anat Baniel Method, Jeremy Krauss training and Child’Space. I did not consider ABM from the very beginning, as it was very far and very expensive. I was choosing between two trainings in Europe. I asked our Feldenkrais practitioner in Helsinki, which one she would recommend, and she said « Chava’s training, no doubt, she is great in working with children». As I respect her very much, her words were decisive for me. lidia-irina

I decided to go to the training, as it was very exhausting and difficult (physically and financially) to go to Helsinki every month, and I felt that if I could do something myself on daily basis it will be more useful for my daughter, than rare lessons with the practitioner. Irina’s father – Sergei – always supported me. He saw improvements in Irina, so he agreed with my decision to get trained myself.’

In the next episode Lidia will tell about her experience with Child’Space and what it did for Irina.