A Little Angel Dropped By… Little Ahmad’s Story

Five-year old Ahmad had development problems, nerve shortness, a mild cognitive retardation, and a hydrocephaly that affected the auditory nerve and hearing.
Ahmed lived in Jaramana, Daff al-Sakher, within a family of five, displaced from Aleppo, in a rented house under harsh material and health conditions.
We met Ahmad when he came to the community centre with his mother who was asking for help. A neighbour had told her about the services provided by the CC for children with specific needs in order to help them realize the best of their potential.
Soon after, Ahmad was integrated into the Friendship Group. At first, the boy was afraid of unfamiliar people (non-family members) and cried whenever someone approached him. After being integrated in the Rehabilitation Program, his condition was assessed using the Portage tools.
We made a family plan for Ahmad to help develop some of the points where he showed weaknesses. The plan was explained to the mother: It consisted in applying a daily routine and providing some means to achieve objectives using simple tools that are available at the CC or at home. The mother was fully cooperative and contributed to the development and improvement of her son’s abilities.
After several follow-up sessions, the mother came to tell how some objectives had been reached. When reviewing the plan, it was clear that the boy had effectively realized the plan’s objectives in full. By realizing these objectives, the following changes occurred:
• He formerly did not like to be separated from his family. Now he had become involved in activities and played with the group, even in his mother’s absence.
• He could not use his fingers because of the nerve shortness. Now he could use scissors to cut paper, play with tools and execute some tasks autonomously.
• He was unable to respond to complex requests. Now he was able to respond to requests that required more than one instruction.
• He did not know word antonyms. By now, he had learned antonyms of words he already knew.
• He did not know street rules. Now he had become aware of street rules.
• He did not know how to execute some movements that fit with the songs he learned. Now he could do that, doing the appropriate movements for each particular song.

It was fortunate that all the family, especially Ahmad’s siblings, cooperated to help him improve his abilities as soon as possible. His mother said that Ahmed’s sisters are credited with teaching their brother how to make a cardboard basket to throw in it a paper ball they had made for him to help him exercise his hands.

The mother also said that her other two children had improved, becoming more cooperative with her, which was a remarkable change that occurred after their participation in the CC activities.
In a moment of happiness, Ahmad asked his mother if he could wear the Eid clothes before the Eid, so he could come to the follow-up session at the CC and show the “sister” his new clothes, insisting by wearing them to express his delight in coming to the CC.

Sadly, this was the last picture taken of him, during his last activity. The following day, he fell from the stairs, which caused him a severe brain haemorrhage that killed him on August 31, 2017. Ahmad passed away, leaving in the hearts of those who loved him a beautiful memory and much sorrow. He will be remembered in every corner in which he left a trace.
RIP, Ahmad. A little angel dropped by!