Sessions in the sensory stimulation room provided by Sense International at Isabela’s school have helped her to learn and develop communication skills.
Isabela has cerebral palsy and struggles to see, walk and eat. Like many children with disabilities in Peru, she received very little professional support in her early years due to the costs involved. Until she was two, she was only able to access basic hospital check-ups in addition to the therapy that her parents provided at home. But that all changed when she joined a specialist school supported by Sense International Peru.
Isabela’s favourite activity is using the school’s new sensory stimulation room – a specially equipped classroom that contains toys and play equipment designed to help children use all of their senses to explore, discover and learn. Isabela especially enjoys playing with sensory balls, watching lights and listening to music. Her teacher, Nery, says: “We love to work with Isabela. She loves the lights and sounds in the sensory stimulation room.”
Sense International Peru was able to create the sensory stimulation room with funds from the Australian Embassy’s Direct Aid Programme. They also provided teachers with the training and tools to deliver the sensory therapies that children with deafblindness need. These therapies can make a huge difference to a child’s long-term development and ability to learn when they are used as part of a tailored education plan.
“The stimulation that she receives in the sensory stimulation classroom has generated the main changes in Isabela,” says her father, Antonio. “The colours and sensations have helped to develop her gestures and communication.” Antonio’s dream is to see Isabela talking to him – he would love to hear her thoughts.