Salwa, an-8-year old, suffers from Down Syndrome and hyperactivity. She belongs to a big family; 9 female siblings (most of them are married), two male siblings, and her mother. Her father is a junior employee in one of the governmental bodies. The family has been living in its home village, Al Twaineh, which is one of the villages of Al Hasakah Sub-district.
As a result of the ongoing war, Salwa and her family have been through tough times, her elder brother died and her other brother’s home was severely damaged by an explosion and thus he had to stay in his parent’s small and crowded home which doubled the pressures over the parents’ shoulders, especially the mother.
The outreach volunteer team attached to Beit Al Kel, Al Hasakah City has been constantly visiting villages and towns around the city and at one time reached out to Salwa and her family encouraging her parents to bring her to the community center.
Within a short period of time, Salwa visited the center accompanied by her mother, where her case was assessed by the officer responsible for the Home-Based Rehabilitation Program (HBRP) for children with special needs.
The team resorted to medical and neurological counseling to assess the girl’s condition and reached a conclusion she was suffering from speech difficulties, in addition to the symptoms and different traits of Down Syndrome. Salwa began attending regular speech improvement sessions with specialist doctors.
At the same time, the team worked on other rehabilitation programs, namely, integrative, group activities to motivate Salwa to communicate with her peers (normal children), and individual Portage sessions, which enkindle different channels of expression and set the girl in motion to acquire basic skills, such as, independence, self-reliance, sensory development, and emotional expression
During accompanying Salwa to the center’s sessions, the mother came to know of Hear-My-Heart program and was enthusiastic to join, since she heard a lot about it and the benefits other women gained.
The mother also joined the Parental Skills Program, which was a turning point causing drastic changes to Salwa's life. The mother mingled with other women who were going through similar mental conditions and circumstances, which strengthened her self-confidence and developed her ability to express herself and talk about the challenges she was facing.
The psychologist also kept working on building mutual trust with Salwa’s mother to push the mother forward and help her realize that the only rout to her kid’s consciousness and unconsciousness is through her, and consequently encouraged the mother to attend tailored and simple training sessions to learn how to apply the techniques of the HBRP focusing on boosting the girl’s self-confidence.
The mother's sense of responsibility built up which was positively reflected on the daughter, who began enjoying the feelings of safety. Salwa no longer escaped confronting others and no longer resorted to crying. People who used to be source of discomfort and vexation are now source of care and love.
Today Salwa is singing! The days when she hardly said her name are over!
She tells the story of her siblings, who benefited from the educational services offered at the center, to everyone she meets around the center in her own funny simple way. She got over the past, when she used to refrain from anything related to them and even avoided saying their names.
Salwa shows great enthusiasm toward participating in group activities and toward being part of public gatherings, especially the ones involving children. She defeated her fear and shyness, which used to make her avoid looking into people's faces
"Salwa is a neat, clean, and hardworking person. Any mother would love to hear such things about her daughter."
Hearing these words over and over again, ignited a super power within Salwa's mother, elevating her to a new dimension, where she seriously looks for the means to bring the best out of her daughter, to look for her hidden talents and capacities. The great news is that the whole family now follows the mother's steps.