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People are no Longer Scared of me.. They like me

English

Alaa Mahmoud, a 10-year-old female child, suffering from Down syndrome, her 9-member family fled Sbenieh around 5 years ago and moved to Al-Mazarae neighborhood, Jaramana.


One of the mother’s friends who regularly attended sessions and activities at Athar Al-Farashah Community Center, attached to the Syrian Society for Social Development (SSSD), introduced her to the center, particularly the groups targeting people with special needs.


Upon visiting the center, the mother was enrolled in the friendship groups, where she talked about Alaa’s stubbornness and her violence with her siblings. The staff gradually integrated Alaa in the children activities and with close follow up she was later enrolled in the Home-Based Rehabilitation Program (HBRP).


Upon evaluating Alaa’s condition, targets were set and a family plan convenient to the mother was developed and explained, as well as an individual plan. The mother was also provided with an individual target-activity chart.
Eventually hard work and close follow up paid off and Alaa was able to meet most of the targets:
1- Alaa let go of quarrel with her siblings and peers and is constantly working on improving her communication skills with others.
2- She is able to follow the directions of mind and physical games when playing with her peers.
3- She is capable of identifying geometric shapes, drawing squares and circles, and assembling small puzzles (5-10 pieces).
4- She is capable of differentiating numbers and letters and counting (ascending order).
5- She is capable of responding to questions starting with “what if” using the corresponding, proper verbs.
6- Her ability of understanding jokes and funny incidents was developed.
7- Her physical ability was developed: she knows how to play jump rope, how to hop, and how to balance on very tight surfaces.
8- She was trained to observe and appreciate the fascinating world of nature.
9- She now chooses her clothes on her own in response to the weather conditions. She also knows how to change water temperature while washing her hands and taking a shower.
The mother talked about the great relief her family felt due to Alaa’s substantial developments; behavior improvements, awareness development, better interaction at home and in groups.