My Journey to MOVE

I started my journey in 2009 as a physical therapist in Guatemala, in November 2016 I moved to Israel and in 2017 I started working at Cochav Hatzafon Association, they developed and operate a continuum of comprehensive quality services (treatment and rehabilitation, housing, employment, social and leisure) for adult patients with physical and intellectual disabilities.

My center works specifically with patients with severe disabilities with their treatments more focused on maintenance of their current state and the prevention of future complication. Leading me to look for treatment ideas that would allow them to not just maintain their current state but also improve it, this is how I learned for the first time about the MOVE program.

At the time, I was unable to travel to receive formal training but decided to order the books and be in touch with the MOVE International staff to work towards implementing the program in my center. Since I was not formally trained, the center was implementing the MOVE philosophy and we were gathering data using the MOVE Assessment Profile, as best we could.

How it all started

I started to work with eleven patients between the ages of 21 to 50, the majority diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spastic tetraplegia, intellectual disability, and other health conditions. Some of them did not receive Physical Therapy treatment in their childhood and were treated at home complicating their state even further.  

When starting the work with MOVE the patients were in a wheelchair, inactive, and totally dependent, during the period that we worked with the MOVE program they didn't receive additional physical therapy. After six months all patients showed excellent results such as maintaining a sitting position without or with minor support, performing various activities with their upper limbs while sitting on a regular chair, holding a standing position with the support of a Rifton PACER, performing voluntary movements in lower limbs without shifting and eight of them managed to move up to three meters nonstop and performed 30 minutes walks during the week. 

The results....

The results drove us to start exploring with the help of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Social Services of Israel the possibility of bringing the training to Israel and taking the program to other treatment centers to benefit other patients in similar conditions.

Also, we started to incorporate occupational activities into our center for patients who were within the program allow these patients to experience the feeling of being part of a group and carry out other activities to which they had never had the access before.  

As a professional, Physiotherapy has allowed me to help my patients achieve goals that even they believed were unattainable, to be able to see our patients experience sitting alone, taking steps for the first time in their life or interacting more effectively with others despite their age, is something incredible.

The smiles on their faces are the best reward!!!

Jennifer Jacob