Our late-night preparation paid off. Today we held our conference with 33 physical therapists to teach them how to properly use our standing frame. Scott kicked off the meeting by introducing the Stand With Me team and its history and explaining the goals of our convention. Next, Dr. Cheff, with Thomas translating, outlined cerebral palsy, the complications it can bring forth, and the main treatment goals that physical therapists should aim for. Her concise explanation helped some of the less-experienced physical therapists and health workers better understand how children with CP are affected by it.
Next, Sergio, a Hope Haven physical therapist, went over the standers themselves. He discussed the three different types of standers, their usage and treatment applications. After Sergio, Patricia Duff, our guest speaker, spoke about the psychological effects and benefits of therapeutic devices like our pediatric standing frame. She explored the need for effective communication in children who can’t speak or write, stressing that they need a voice as well. In her presentation, she described several ways to communicate with children who can’t speak or write, such as tracking their eyes to interpret responses to questions or using printed pictures to allow the child to formulate ideas and basic sentences. Ilse gave her presentation next, describing the treatment plan for a patient in a stander and how to apply to receive a stander from Stand With Me. During the lunch break, our visitors toured the factory to see our workshop and facilities. Afterward, four families arrived who agreed to allow us to demonstrate the fitting process to the therapists. Scott, Thomas, Ilse, and Sergio each led a group of therapists. All four families gracious enough to allow us to demonstrate with their child received standing frames, and the therapists learned how to properly handle a patient in a Stand With Me standing frame.
By 4 o’clock, all four frames had been delivered and every therapist had been given their certificate of completion of our training course. To celebrate a successful day, the team traveled to Xenacoj one last time before they would depart for the weekend. They met some locals who were associated with Hope Haven in their former work and tried even more delicious local food. An early turn-in compensated for last night’s late-night preparations, but the success of the day was well worth it.