Manju and Kamal Rajoura are residents of Dakashinpuri where our first service centre is locate. Unlike many families in this community of largely migrant daily wage workers Kamal has completed std 10 in a local school and his wife has also done her schooling till std 8. They run a small stationary shop and are more informed than most of their neighbours.

Their first son Ishan was born in a local Charity hospital and was the cause of much celebration. However, when Ishan was two years he contracted acute jaundice and although he was taken to a local hospital it left him with considerable disability .Doctors seem to have explained that the child could become disabled but no information had been given on how or where to go for the kind of services the child needed. Later, being literate with some education the parents were concerned that the boy did not show signs of normal development. He had deteriorate alarmingly and although earlier he had begun crawling he now began scooting on his buttocks.

In 2011 during the regular surveys carried out by the Samadhan community worker Sarojini, she was able to identify Ishan as disabled and referred him to the Rehabilitation Clinic in our centre. He was provided with all the services available and the paediatrician diagnosed Ishan with Apraxia Cerebral Palsy with generalised hypotonia and delayed milestones (Apraxia Cerebral Palsy, is a condition caused by brain injury or brain malformation that occurs while the brain is still developing — during the fetal stage, at birth, or after birth — in areas of the brain that affect motor control associated with lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements. Hypotonia is a state of low muscle tone (the amount of tension or resistance to stretch in a muscle), often involving reduced muscle strength.

The team of professionals then completed individual assessments and came up with a plan for rehabilitation. As a first step focus was on the mobility of the child and for this purpose they provided daily physical exercises such as sitting on cp chair, exercises of the extremities, walking with support and with a walker, stair climbing and parallel bars, gait training etc

Over a period Ishan improved gradually and reached a stage where he started walking and speaking two / three words. At a case conference when the professional team met it was decided to admit Ishan into the education unit in the centre itself since, Children with apraxia needed a more intense speech practice opportunities and this would contribute to an improved speech pattern. In the education unit Ishan’s speech improved dramatically and he was able to now participate with the other children in drama and singing. Consequently his cognitive skills improved as well. He can now count, identify objects, animals, fruits etc., and imitate sounds of animals and birds, knows Hindi and English alphabets, can tell the names of family members, can fill colours within shapes, can count up to 20.

Three years of regular intervention at SAMADHAN, has changed the life of Ishan and that of his parents. His parents look forward to a time of celebration and are acutely aware of how timely intervention had changed Ishan’s future into one filled with hope. There is every reason to hope that he will develop further and improve his skills. Considering his interest in studies and performance in curricular activities, he is been shifted to Mainstream. Ishan is 9 year old now and joined Balwant Rai Mehta School, a well-known private School in Dakshinpuri.

The most supportive factor in Ishan’s improvement has been the consistent and dedicated input of his mother and father. The professionals provide counselling as needed and in Manjus case she needed consistent and friendly support to continue with the exercises, Ishan was to carry out at home and focus on his improvement. It has impacted on the family as well as neighbours and the community. Seeing a child they had all given up as hopeless has even changed the negative perceptions the community had about disability in general. Ishan, and his family, all unknowingly has been a major agent of change from seeing disability as totally irrevocable situation to a more positive and hope filled perspective.

“Ishan is a topper in his class and his teacher says that he is STAR student” says Ishan`s parents brimming with joy and pride.

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AFTER