Friday, November 20, 2015

From our files | Ariel, 3

Hydrotherapy (illustrative image)
When Ariel's mother reported back to the Malki Foundation office in May 2015 about the effects of the therapy sessions that we are funding, it was hard not to hear the excitement in her voice. Just three years old, little Ariel is significantly affected by developmental delay. His parents applied for and got our support for hydrotherapy sessions close to where they live.

She is certain that there has been a lot of improvement, Ariel's mother says, describing his current, improved condition now as a miracle. Before taking advantage of the therapies (he received 27 of them from a qualified hydrotherapist between January and October 2015), he was unable to move his body independently, and could not crawl. Now he has started taking his first steps. 

In a November 2015 follow-up, we were told that Ariel's hydrotherapy strengthens his arms wonderfully. The staff at the pool came in for a lot of praise. The little boy's progress has enabled him to be moved into a special-ed kindergarten which is something the parents really wanted. 

Unfortunately, though he is supposed to get a range of therapies there, physiotherapy somehow doesn't happen, at least not for Ariel. Nor is the family's health fund (their kupat holim, in Hebrew) able to provide it for him. The mother tells us that she has the option of transferring back into the day-care center where he was before being admitted to gan. But that would be a step backwards in so many other ways, and they are reluctant to give in and surrender the progress he has made. 

Airle's family call the hydrotherapy that he gets with Malki Foundation intervention "a life saver". They see at as the one way - the only way - he is being helped to strengthen his muscles and make physical progress. 

Via the Malki Foundation's Therapies at Home program, described here, many thousands of therapy sessions have been enabled for families in Israel who know they ought to be getting them - or getting more of them - through the conventional government channels or in the framework of their child's education. But having the right to these therapy sessions and actually getting them are often two very different things. 

Life for families with a child who has severe special needs is already over-filled. And that's before taking account of the stress that comes with the territory. The Malki Foundation's support is designed to alleviate some of those pressures while making a meaningful difference to the family's ability to access all-important non-medical therapy services without less of the aggravation of fighting an often-difficult system. We provide an all-important safety net. The Malki Foundation programs aim to empower the family of a child with special needs. 

Though the facts and figures are always true and correct, children's names used in these published file reports are always fictitious in order to protect the privacy of the child and the family.

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