“I have been able to talk to the other mothers who have children with disabilities. We give each other hope and this makes us feel like we are not alone.”Fatuma
In celebration of Deafblind Awareness Week, we are sharing news and stories from our work across East Africa, South Asia and Peru – and today’s turn is Kenya!
Over the last 18 months we’ve been working to establish a sensory screening programme in two counties of Kenya, to identify and support young children with deafblindness – children like Modi.
At 5 months old Modi started to have seizures and he was referred to Sense International Kenya’s occupational therapy programme. Modi underwent a hearing test, eye screening, and a physical examination and the clinical officer confirmed that he had near blindness and cerebral palsy.
At first Fatuma, was upset by what this might mean for Modi.
“It can be hard as a parent as there is stigma around disability and members of the community talk and compare him to other children who are walking and playing. He cannot join in and this saddens me.
However, I am hopeful as we have seen small improvements since starting therapy.
Modi receives lots of different types of therapy and has his own personalised programme. He uses toys and LED lights for visual stimulation to help assist his cognitive function and receives muscle massages. At the moment Modi cannot sit, but he has an assessment coming up, where he will be measured for a wheelchair, and we will find out what assisted devices will support him best.
After each session, the therapist gives a report on Modi’s improvements and will log any other concerns. I am able to speak to the occupational therapist about any difficulties we are having as parents. He then can refer us to the other services that the hospital offers, through which, I now receive counselling. I have been able to talk to the other mothers who have children with disabilities. We give each other hope and this makes us feel like we are not alone.”
This work has been made possible by Sense International’s ‘Chance to Shine’ appeal, with match funding from the UK government and generous supporters like the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Thank you!
This Deafblind Awareness Week, help provide even more children with deafblindness like Modi to thrive and live life to their full potential.