NAPA Center: World Renown Therapy Facility Began with One Special Needs Child
By Jolene Montgomery
“My parents were told to go on with their lives, without me…”
This is how Cody LaScala begins the narrative of his life on the website for The NAPA Center (Neurological and Physical Abilitation Center). Unlike many people with Cerebral Palsy, Cody wasn’t born with this disease, but encountered it after a near-fatal drowning accident on his first birthday. Also unlike many people, his family didn’t accept what the doctors told them but worked to create a program that would help Cody and, eventually, help other children with similar conditions.
Mom of Child with Cerebral Palsy Refuses to Give Up
Cody’s mom, Lynette, wasn’t a trained nurse. She ran a health spa in Palm Springs, but had no training for pediatric therapies. So she sought out the experts, traveling to Philadelphia and The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential where they taught Lynette how to do a home program that would continue Cody’s therapy. He describes how the treatment worked:
“It was crazy, every hour we had people in and out of our house volunteering to help me. I was surrounded by love. They would have three people, one on each side and one at my head, putting me through motions like I was crawling. I would scream and cry but they didn’t stop. Mom would sing louder than I could cry. We would do that for five minutes, 18 times a day. Then every five minutes a beeper would go off and they would put a mask on my face for one minute for me to breathe into. In between all that they would flash word and picture cards, bang pots and pans to scare me to death, use hot and cold packs, and make me try to crawl down a slide.”
It was trial-and-error therapy that would eventually lead to Lynette getting a degree in Specialized Education, and to the NAPA Center’s therapeutic programs. They experimented with hippo therapy, chiropractic, reflexology, essential oils, cranial sacral therapy, hyperbaric oxygen treatments, nitroglycerin therapy, biofeedback, OT, PT and speech therapy.
Then they found Poland.
In Search of Innovative Therapies from Around the World
The family went to Poland nine times. Each time they estimated Cody would gain 6-12 months of progress in the four weeks’ time. It was in Poland that Lynette and Cody learned about the NeuroSuit and the Spider Cage—two therapies that they now offer at the Southern California NAPA facility. Cody’s family found the therapy amazing, and it whet their appetites for more.
To go to the NAPA Center now you would never imagine that it began with one family trying to help a single child. Lynette, Bryan and their team have sought out tools to build a therapy program for each special child’s needs; sending therapists around the world to be trained in outside-the-box therapies and techniques.
Anne Bigley of Pasadena, California shared the effect of the Center on her son. “What he gets here is so different than anywhere else,” she said. “It’s unparalleled. He’s make incredible progress.”
With families world-wide clamoring for the NAPA therapy, Lynette and Bryan are opening a new NAPA Center in Sydney, Australia. Some of the therapies are covered by some health insurance, as with most treatments, check with your insurance first.
For more on NAPA Center, visit www.napacenter.org. You can also meet them in person in Booth #249 at the Los Angeles Abilities Expo.
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