The Journey


Queena began her journey with the TheraSuit team at Pediatric Therapy Services in October of 2011.

She was afraid of the unknown, afraid of the hurt that comes with moving her tight muscles and of the hurt that comes with moving her joints that had been injured.

Queena was trapped in her body which was pushing backwards with incredible force.  Her eyes were always looking up and to one side. Her head was forcibly pushing against whatever surface it came in contact with.  How uncomfortable this must have been and how difficult it must have been to try to make any movement against such a force. Yet, she did!

Even with these barriers, Queena showed incredible tolerance for therapist’s hands on her body encouraging her to move places that were difficult or frightening for her. This was her beginning with us.


Pediatric Therapy Services TheraSuit Session-February 2012

Queena held her arms so tightly against her body and her fingers so clenched against her palms that she hurt herself with the pressure of her nails against her skin.  These are the hands that previously played the piano and sports.

Queena learned to BREATHE in this session.  She possessed the willpower and determination to gain some control over her body by learning how to regulate her breathing. She understood by “breathing” she could begin to control the spasms that overtake her body.

Queena works steadily with us for 3 hours during TheraSuit.  The work is very intense requiring her utmost focus and attention.   Yet she is able to have fun because she understands humor.  She breaks into laughter when we have done something that has been less than perfect.  She laughs with relief and joy when she has completed a hard task and she laughs with us.  She gives all of us who are so incredibly involved with our work helping her, the ability to release tension through her laughter. 


Pediatric Therapy Services TheraSuit Session- October 2012

What is the importance of a conversation?  How many different ways can a person have one?  What are all the things that need to be in place to make a conversation work?

Queena ‘s conversations were limited with us during the first 2 sessions.  We made judgments about things that were affecting her. We checked with her Mom and her CNA for confirmation and checked with Queena.  We imagine that we made a few wrong determinations in those earlier sessions as Queena did not bring her eyes to our face.  She was unable to bring her face to our face.  She was unable to keep her head at the top of her body.   She did not form words, nor could she use a communication board.

With the changes occurring in her body, she was now able to have enough breath support to begin a “chant”. How exciting to hear her own voice in response to ours! A conversation had begun!

We communicate with our hands, our bodies, our face and our eyes.  In this session, Queena began using her arms to make choices, by raising her arm in response to a question.  She began to move her body forward towards the speaker.  Her face began to show different expressions. She became more engaged!  All of these changes require changes in muscles and body alignment. A new chapter began…..

Trust/Respect/ Lead

Pediatric Therapy Services TheraSuit Session- February 2013.

Queena is building from the inside out.  She has begun to learn to trust herself to move.  She knows that her responses are far from “lightning speed”.  They are slow in coming and they are still weak. Yet, they come.

 She has learned to respect our judgment and trust our guidance as she works to grow stronger and works to diminish the body responses that stop or hinder her. 

Queena, in this session began to “lead”. Her body is once againbeginning to allow her to make a decision and carry it through.  It may be only that she is able to pull her head forward one more time for an assisted sit-up, but it is a decision that she has made and not one that we made for her!

Queena’s overall attitude is about going forward. Queena was a leader before the fateful moment when her life changed forever. The uphill fight she faces to make small, yet monumental gains requires the heart of a leader.  She is one.

How does the TheraSuit program help Queena?

  1. It shows the body how to function as a whole.
  2. It serves as an accelerator to assist memory for movement
  3. It assists normalizations of the nervous system through pressure/stabilization and repetition
  4. It creates body awareness/stability/ holding power and mobility
  5. It stimulates muscle

Contact:  Denise Kilburn PT/Kathy Shufflebarger PT
Pediatric Therapy Services
Lakeland/Brandon Florida
863-802-3800 or 813-662-1060

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