Sense International helps deafblind people in less developed countries to communicate, connect, interact and flourish
Sense International provides specialist training, information and support to ensure that every person living with deafblindness can achieve their full potential
We are Sense International
Sense International works in partnership to provide services and raise awareness of the needs of deafblind people and their families so they can connect, participate and contribute to their communities.
My name is Diana Cozma and I am Rares's mother, who is three years old.
Just three days after being born, Rares was diagnosed with a brain cyst and visual impairments. To me, this sounded terrible. And it was terrible.
Already being a few months old, Rares physically developed like a healthy child, but from other points of view he was still like a newborn baby. When I walked into the room, he would not look at me. When I smiled at him, he would not smile back. When I reached out to him, he would not hold my hand. Most times I had the feeling that he was completely blind.
My greatest luck at that time was Dr. Florina Stoica, a very special person who encouraged me, telling that Rares would eventually be able to see, even if his left eye seemed completely compromised.
We went for regular check-ups, doing our best to stimulate his sight the best way that we could. At the age of one, Rares started wearing glasses. A few months later, Dr. Stoica informed me about the Early Intervention Support Centre and I took Rares there. I met Gabriela Jianu and Carolina Biro, also Miruna Pletea more recently - all of them really, really special people.
In the beginning, Rares would not cooperate at all. He was extremely anxious, everything scared him and everything made him cry. He would not touch the toys and would not leave my arms. Although it was extremely difficult and many times I had no idea what else to do to calm him down and make him cooperate, the patience shown by the early intervention workers, their skills and the educational materials (a multitude of different toys and games) finally showed results.
I will always remember the first toy Rares reacted to and laid his little hands on: a xylophone. He loved the sound so much, that he timidly reached out his left hand, grabbed the stick and started playing. A few months after that, Rares was unrecognisable. The anxious and timid little boy changed into a courageous child, who is not shy to take a toy out of your hands if he wants it, who pays attention to everything happening around him, collaborates with the early intervention specialists and even started using his right arm (although diagnosed with right side hemi paresis). Rares is a completely different child. And in addition to everything, his dioptres decreased from +3 to +2 in only one year).
It is my strong belief that the early intervention programme changed Rares's life. Unlike any other types of therapy he went through, early intervention happened smoothly, without him feeling any pressure to do anything, but rather to do everything by playing.
Early intervention works wonders. When you think there are so many other kids in need of early intervention who could benefit a lot from stimulation at an early age....They need to be supported, the same way Rares was.
We thank you,