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"I've seen miracles every day;" a different kind of therapy is helping patients with motor issues

Posted at 5:19 AM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 07:52:27-05

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW)  — Eight year-old Nathaniel Steinbacher's goal is to play hockey one day. Some would say he couldn't because he has cerebral palsy, but that's not stopping him.

"It's been my favorite sport since I was little," Nathaniel said. Thanks to a different kind of therapy called the Symptom Recovery Model, Nathaniel may one day be able to walk or maybe even skate, on his own.

"I feel great because I am doing all this therapy that helps me," Nathaniel said.

For a year now, he's been working with Pediatric Physical Therapist Elizabeth Bailey-Sands Clay. She has been a physical therapist for 25 years and was given the opportunity to learn the Symptom Recovery Model Techniques.

The Make Lemon Aide Foundation for Cerebral Palsy here in Western New York sponsored her multiple trips to Atlanta to be trained on how to work with patients. Now Elizabeth is the only therapist in Western New York who knows the therapy.

"When you start to treat every system of the body, you start to see more really amazing results," Elizabeth said. "If you can change the aliment of the body that is causing the dysfunction then you can train the body to embrace it and use it."

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects a person's ability to move. Elizabeth says this method is different than regular therapies because it focuses on opening up the communication pathways from the brain to parts of the body that lack the ability to move.

Elizabeth has around 25 patients she is seeing and plans to get certified in the Symptom Recovery Model to be able to train more therapists here in Western New York.

The Make Lemon Aide Foundation raises money to pay to send therapists to be trained in this method and for more research. This weekend the foundation is hosting a their second annual Lemon Twist Gala.

Our 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Rebecca Thornburg will be a special guest at the event. Tickets are still available if you would like to attend, here's the link for purchase.