Liza’s multiple disabilities have made life more challenging for her and her family. She has cerebral palsy and poor sight. When our colleagues first met Liza she couldn’t sit or stand unaided, or use her left hand. She could only play with the simplest toys, like a rattle, and, being unable to talk or express herself, she easily got frustrated and angry.
As part of our Alternative Technology project for disabled children, Liza and her family have had regular sessions with a physiotherapist and a speech and language therapist. These have helped her learn to communicate, play and become more independent.
Liza has made good progress. She now wears glasses, which helps her engage with the world around her. She can sit up for a whole minute now instead of just 5 seconds and she can drink out of a special cup instead of using a bottle. Liza has learnt quite a few games, including some simple ones on her new tablet. Best of all, she has begun to communicate her wishes. She has a special communication button, which she can press to show she wants “more” – more food, or more playing. She has begun to make simple choices, stretching out her arm to show what she wants to play with.
This year 21 families from St Petersburg and Moscow took part in the programme. Each child has complex needs and has been given access to the appropriate hi-tech or lo-tech solutions. For parents it has been so encouraging to see their children making progress at last. As Karen, mother to Lev said,
“Until this project, our experience of rehabilitation was of specialists working separately without communicating with each other. Of course Lev made some progress, but it’s impossible to compare with the success my son has achieved with the A-Tech project.