How CPA’s accessible gym got BJ out of a rut

How CPA's accessible gym got BJ out of a rut
Posted on Fri 29 Jan 2021

This article was first published in Have Wheelchair Will Travel 

 

Last year BJ started at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance gym. I honestly didn’t think it would be a success but I’m always keen to give BJ the opportunity to try new things. I figured if it was a success, fantastic.  If not, it would be no great loss. At least we would have tried. At 25 years of age, I’m keen for BJ’s life to continue to be interesting and challenging. I don’t want him to get stuck in a rut and do the same things forever.

So, we booked in for an assessment with an exercise physiologist and gave it a go. We thought we’d share our experience trying an accessible gym program with BJ in the hope it may help others consider giving it a go.

 

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Gym - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

CEREBRAL PALSY ALLIANCE GYM – ACCESSIBLE GYM PROGRAM

Like most of us, BJ loves doing fun things. As an adult he’s not as keen on sticking at things if they are too hard. I’m guessing that’s why so many people in general give up, or don’t use their gym memberships to their full advantage. Going to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance gym has certainly taken persistence and encouragement to keep BJ working towards his goals but he’s gained so much strength, improved his stamina and an added bonus has been gaining better depth perception.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

When I phoned Cerebral Palsy Alliance I was pretty upfront that BJ would need a super experienced person who could be firm but kind and work with someone who could be inclined to avoidance techniques. BJ was paired with lovely Eliza who was all those things and more. He was also lucky to be going weekly with a support worker who also possesses the same skills when working with BJ.

As I mentioned in my year in review blog, BJ started off walking on the treadmill and could barely last 5 minutes. At his final session last year he was managing 15 minutes on the treadmill. And had gained an extra skill, hitting the stop button when he was over it.

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Ella received a Telepractice Support Kit, thanks to a grant from the City of Newcastle during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Researchers from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Australian Catholic University and The University of Melbourne are doing a study to find out parents’ perspectives of their child’s scoliosis surgery.


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