Thurga first joined this residential programme in March 2012 at the age of 12. At present she is 14 years old and continuing with the Deaf Blind and Multi Handicapped programme. Thurga was diagnosed with congenital blindness, mental retardation and Autism. Though Thurga can hear and understand simple commands, she is not able to talk and communicates only through gestures. Thurga’s main challenges are her aggressiveness and her tendency to throw tantrums. She has mood swings whenever she is uncomfortable. Thurga did not had any proper training in any skills all this while as she was left alone by herself and thus has developed improper behaviour.
It has been two years now since Thurga enrolled in the Deaf Blind and Multi Handicapped programme. In these 2 years, Thurga has been referred for regular medical intervention at a nearby hospital. She continues her follow up schedule with the Psychiatrist, Paediatrics, Neuro and Endocrine specialist and she has shown some overall improvement in her behaviour modification. Her frequent tantrums and aggressiveness has lessened and it has also improved her sleeping pattern at night.
Thurga is able to recognise people with their voices and touch. She is able to under simple commands in English and Tamil and able to respond to our commands though slow at times. Thuga likes to be praised and handled with gentle care and does not like loud voices or sounds. She also likes to be cuddled and hugged by familiar people.
Even though Thurga is able to understand the commands from her teachers, she can only communicate through gestures to indicate whenever she is hungry or feeling uncomfortable. She has different sounds and gestures to indicate her happiness or when she is in pain. She has now learnt to indicate through gestures for her toileting, hunger and pain.
Thurga has also shown some improvement in her walking pattern after continuous walking exercise and Physiotherapy sessions. Her ability to walk to her classrooms on her own is an indication of her improvement from when she first came to St Nicholas’ Home. Though she still has balancing problem, she is able to control herself. As such, she tends to walk with her head down and our Physiotherapist is currently working to teach her neck control.
Thurga is still dependent on her caregivers for her daily needs. She needs constant verbal instructions to do a task and most of the time she needs hand over hand techniques. She has learned to wear her shoes, cloths and feed herself with very minimum assistance from teachers and caregivers. Other skills such as Toileting, bathing and brushing teeth still need training.
For the past two years, with constant attention and teaching from her teachers, Thurga has shown to us that with proper guidance, it is possible for children such as Thurga to achieve their full potential and gain the ability to be as independent as they can be.
As we continue to help children such as Thurga through the Deaf Blind and Multi Handicapped progamme at St Nicholas’ Home, we would like thank you for your generous contribution to our DBMH programme and for making a change in the lives of these children!