- Posted by MCRC Staff
- On July 20, 2020
“One of the best things about working at MCRC, is seeing the progress that children make over time”, said Kristal Kidd, M.P.T. Brittany Nelson is one of those kids. Having been a client at MCRC for over six years, her therapists have had the privilege of witnessing a tremendous amount of growth.
Before attending MCRC, Brittany faced huge obstacles with strength and coordination. Ordinary tasks like writing her name or taking a step off of a curb were extremely difficult. The now 19-year-old has been transforming in front of many eyes.
Through the introduction of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, hippotherapy, and therapeutic riding, Brittany has gained new skills like dribbling a basketball for extended periods, the ability to jump off objects and use her fine motor skills to rein her horse independently.
For many years, Brittany found it difficult to socialize with her peers. Along with her growth within the programs, her therapists noted the changes they have seen in Brittany’s social skills. The social butterfly can often be found offering a warm smile while visiting with volunteers and employees in the office and many take note.
“Brittany has such a bright light and wonderful spirit” – Leigha, M.O.T., O.T.R.
Brittany’s mom, Mindy shared that MCRC has always been a favorite place for Brittany, but she truly shines when she is on a horse. Having been in therapeutic riding for three years, she has formed a special bond with her horse Diego.
When she began, Brittany had difficulty engaging both hands and mounting her horse from the ground. “He is a strong motivator for her. Brittany will go the extra mile while riding Diego and together, the two have made great progress,” said Lead Therapeutic Riding Instructor Laura Buzbee. In her last session, Brittany was able to ride independently for 75% of the session.
“I love working with Brittany and her mother. They are wonderful examples of how positive gains are made when practice is completed at home,” said Leigha.
After therapy sessions are done for the day, the horses return to Crawford Barn; however, Brittany’s concern for the horse does not end there. “Occasionally, we will ride our bikes to see Diego at the stables. He knows her voice and comes to the fence when she calls. It makes her heart happy,” said Mindy.
These therapy experiences were greatly affected by social-distancing precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her in-person therapy came to a halt and her progress could have easily as well; however, her therapists worked diligently to provide her adequate resources through telehealth to continue making progress towards her goals. Throughout the period of social distancing, Kristal and Leigha continued to work with Brittany on her goals of jumping on one foot, using both hands for increased function, holding the crab position and independently exercising. Throughout these telehealth visits, Brittany accomplished these goals. Her physical therapist credits this to the great support system she has in her parents at home. During many of the virtual sessions, her mom could be seen participating in exercises and cheering her on from afar. The pair even made a few trips to visit Diego from a distance.
“MCRC is truly a special place. Nothing compares. They have a genuine concern for the children and we wouldn’t trade it for anything” said Mindy.
This past May, Brittany celebrated her high school graduation. Her mom credits this milestone to the many skills she has gained while attending MCRC. We can’t wait to see how Brittany blossoms in the years to come.