Benson was born a full term, healthy baby. We left the hospital just 24 hours after he was born. He had almost caught up to his sister who is just 16 months older in weight and height when SMA started taking its toll. He stopped using his legs around 9 months and we were soon on a journey of diagnosis. Benson was not given an official diagnosis of SMA type 2 until 17 months, just four weeks before his younger brother was born. His older sister and younger brother are amazing little helpers to Benson and they all have a special bond. Benson has an amazing spirit and strength in him. He is smart as a whip and loves to show off how fast his power chair goes.
"Benson has done many therapies, including early intervention programs at the house, water therapy, and lots of stander time. I have been passionate about hippotherapy since I learned of it and have tried for the last year to find a way to pay for it as insurance will not cover it. We finally found a way in the form of Unite 4 Peyton! We are so grateful to Unite 4 Peyton for the awesome opportunity. We are loving the experience so far and hope to see great results in his core strength! We also hope that it will help to keep his scoliosis from progressing by strengthening those muscles. Benson works hard during his horse time and really enjoys it. Thanks Unite 4 Peyton!"
Update- Saturday, April 5, 2014 Unite 4 Peyton We were very fortunate to be recipients of a grant through the Unite 4 Peyton Foundation. All SMA families should check them out. They do annual fundraisers and then apply that money towards grants for families with SMA. I think it is absolutely awesome. Our request was for hippotherapy, which is not paid for by insurance as it is still considered "experimental." So far, we have been to two appointments and Benson is loving it! He also tells people all the time that he rides horses. His sister is terribly jealous, but she is being a good sport being supportive and letting him have "his thing." We feel so incredibly blessed to have this opportunity for Benson. I am very humbled by the hard work of this family and their generosity. Their daughter, Peyton, has SMA type 1. They know all to well the time and financial responsibility that SMA brings. What they are doing is amazing and definitely most appreciated by us.
Hippotherapy is awesome. It is something I have been passionate about since I first heard of it. You can read more about it at the American Hippotherapy Association. Here is a snippet of what they say: Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.Equine movement provides multidimensional movement, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength and control, balance, building overall postural strength and endurance, addressing weight bearing, and. motor planning. Equine movement offers well-modulated sensory input to vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and visual channels. During gait transitions, the patient must perform subtle adjustments in the trunk to maintain a stable position. When a patient is sitting forward astride the horse, the horse’s walking gait imparts movement responses remarkably similar to normal human gait. The effects of equine movement on postural control, sensory systems, and motor planning can be used to facilitate coordination and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills and attentional skills. Equine movement can be used to facilitate the neurophysiologic systems that support all of our functional daily living skills.