Jay went to have craniosacral therapy again today, with Char. It is something we have done regularly since November to try to get his head to develop into a fairly normal shape, because it is still slightly askew.
We have had a lot of talk about this, and a lot of worry. It seems only a small thing and yet it can take on a great focus in the mind … despite everything. We don’t want our son to grow up and have a part of his body being ‘wrong’. Even if it is relatively little that is wrong still, and even if it is not something that should be particularly detrimental to his life quality if there is still a slight flattening of part of the backhead when he grows up.
I mean, he can still walk, talk and all that – and is growing in a way that seems perfectly normal and healthy.
For this reason I also must reject the thought of ever placing him in one of those helmets that are supposed to help the head grow into the right shape. We have discussed it briefly, on a day when we were really worried, but I just have to say no.
It’s been difficult for me, because Char is very emotional about this issue and at time want to do more than we already do (CST and keeping him of his back for as much time as possible). But not a helmlet.
And there are three deep reasons for this position:
1. Scientific studies don’t support the effect of this instrument. I googled that and found some pretty serious studies that affirmed it, like this one from 2014: “Helmet therapy in infants with positional skull deformation: randomised controlled trial”
2. It won’t take away our fear – the goal posts will just be removed. We have to learn to handle our fear for Jay and his ‘problem’ here and now.
3. It will prevent us – as parents – from doing the stuff that we feel is helpful during the day, such as stroking his head or kissing it. Sending love to it, to him – in so many words.
Yeah, I know that last one isn’t particularly scientific, but depriving ourselves of this type of agency that affirms for us our dearest hopes is not good.
And then there are the obvious practical problems associated with giving an infant a helmet 23 hours a day for several months.
It is strange to have to write about this, but I do feel this is right. I hope Char is with me on this, if the issue comes up again.
And I hope, of course, that Jay is with me on this when he gets older – if our other efforts do not succeed enough (they have already made a difference, we believe). And if he does end up with some visible, if ever-so-small-deformity of the right part of his head.
Another choice, then, as a parent. But we really have to consider ALL the factors.
And that includes all the other good factors that help Jay and which we will dismiss, if we believe that this sort of instrument will make the difference in our efforts to correct his head.
But most importantly, of course, that science says it doesn’t really help. Whereas with CST we do feel it helps, and we have a series of photos that seem to show that it does.
That may not be particularly scientific, but it is very practical – very real – right here and now. And that is what we need.
Practical and real results. Experienced results. Not some intervention with lots of ramifications and born out of fear.