Meet Isla!

In May 2012 Isla was welcomed into the world weighing 6lb 2 oz. She was born from a normal, problem free pregnancy at 40 weeks +4 days.

After six hours of labour the baby’s heart rate fell therefore the delivery was assisted with a vacuum. After Isla was born, she needed 5 rescue breaths then oxygen to help her breathe. She was ventilated for 5 days.

Three hours after birth Isla had a seizure. To avoid brain injury, she underwent whole body hypothermia (body cooling) for 75 hours.

Isla also had a blood clot in her renal artery which caused kidney failure. She stayed in special care for 5 weeks.  She was then diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, as it was identified early in the hospital that Isla had floppy muscle tone.

Isla’s mobility improved slowly; she lifted her head when 6 weeks old, rolled over at 6 months, and was sitting at 8 months. She pulled to stand and was standing when 18 months old. She started to walk in Pedro shoes with a Kay walker at the age of 2.5.

Isla had Botox in both of her legs when she was 3.5 years old and 3 months later, she took her first independent steps.

Isla made sounds when she was 4-5 months old, was saying words at 1 year old and fluently speaking at the age of 3.

Isla’s parents were searching for more help for Isla to enable her to reach her full potential and to socialise with children with the same or similar condition.

As Isla was in full time education, she started to attend the Rainbow Centre’s fortnightly Saturday Club from May 2021. Her parents’ aims were to improve Isla’s self-confidence, balancing skills and to increase her independence.

When Isla started to attend the sessions, she was friendly and chatty but shy.

Through Conductive Education she started to practise tasks in different positions such as lying, sitting, standing, and walking. She found tasks such as side lying position, 4-point kneeling, high kneeling on the plinth very challenging. Also, she was afraid to walk on a bench or walk up and down the stairs whilst holding onto a rail. At the beginning, halfway through the session Isla broke down in tears because she missed her mum or her brother/sister.  After a couple of months, attending on a regular basis, suddenly everything changed, and Isla started to blossom in all areas of learning.

Isla attended a mainstream school where she easily formed relationships with her peers however, she couldn’t maintain the friendships as she was physically and cognitively more delayed than them.

Here at the Rainbow Centre, Isla has made friendships, not only with the adults around her, but with her peers. She has built up a special strong bond with one of her group members. They keep up their friendship not only during the session but outside Rainbow as well.

Isla became more confident in herself and according to her mum, coming to our Saturday Club has become the most enjoyable time in her life. She was no longer emotional about missing her family.

As her self-confidence grew, she wasn’t afraid to face old and new challenges.

Her spatial awareness has greatly improved, and she became more confident to carry out different tasks in side-lying and 4 point kneeling positions on the plinth.

Isla became more confident to walk forwards and sideways on the bench with reduced manual help at her hands. Another big achievement is that she is able to walk up and down the stairs with only close supervision. 

Isla practises lots of self-care and life skills activities such as tying shoelaces, fastening buttons, folding clothes, laying the table, making hot chocolate, grating cheese, making a sandwich, just to name a few. These activities helped Isla to increase her independence because she can implement what she learns during the session in her everyday life.

We are very proud of Isla’s achievements and looking forward to following her journey in the future.


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