Bobath Scotland Conference at Hampden
Details coming very soon...
It was a proud moment for Glasgow parents, Claire and Martin O'Neill, when they gathered around son Dominic's 18th birthday cake early this year and his eight-year-old brother Michael helped him to blow out the candles.
Like any other teenage boy, Dominic, a pupil of St Ninian's High School in Eastwood, is passionate about music, refuses to have his thick mop of glossy brown hair cut, and - in a cheeky, fun-loving way - likes to keep his parents on their toes.
Dominic was born three and a half months prematurely weighing just 2lbs 11oz, and struggled to hold on to life for the next 12 weeks. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of nine months.
As a permanent brain disorder affecting posture and movement, the condition means that Dominic is unable to walk or talk. Yet, he uses his dark eyes to do his communicating for him, responding to questions and requests with one blink for yes and a scowl for no.
Therapists at Bobath Scotland - of which Claire and Martin are founding parents - were the first to detect Dominic's perception and ability to converse through eye contact.
That's only one of the wonders that Bobath Scotland has helped Dominic to achieve. Since it first opened its doors in 1995 as a modest centre thanks to the efforts of the O'Neill's and three other couples, the specialist, holistic approach offered by Bobath therapists has helped Dominic realise his full potential.
He gets the most out of the life he lovingly shares with his parents and brother - from his incessant playing of Johnny Cash and Elvis CDs, to his much loved camping sessions with Dad, Martin, as part of the 77th Glasgow Disabled Scout Group.
Like plucky Dominic, Bobath Scotland has come a long way since its beginnings in the mid-90s. As Bobath Board member and secretary, school teacher Martin has played a major role in helping the charity to identify a new therapy centre.
The new premises, ideally located just off the M8 at Port Dundas, Glasgow, will enable the charity to reach out to many more children across Scotland and support young people who are making the transition to adulthood.
Bobath Scotland, says Martin, has given his family strength to believe in their ability to effect real and lasting change for children like Dominic, and their families.
"At no point did we ever think: ‘Why has this happened to us?' We thank God every single day we have him," said nurse Claire.
"You struggled to live," she tells Dominic, "so we will make the most of every minute."