By Althea DSylva - Manager - Communications & Resource Mobilization
Uma smiling for the first time!
Thirteen year old Uma came to us in early April this year through an order of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Tiruvannamalai District, in the State of Tamil Nadu. Apparently, she was found wandering the streets of Nedungavadi Village by a good samaritan who handed her over to the CWC. Uma was temporarily sheltered in a reception unit for girls until the Probation Officer from the Department of Social Defense could submit his findings. She was taken to the District Office for the Differently-Abled and assessed as moderately intellectually disabled. Despite many attempts, the good samaritan could not be reached on the number he provided, and as no one came forward to claim the child, the CWC decided to send her to us. We are sending monthly reports on her health, the medical treatment she is receiving and our plan for her rehabilitation, to the CWC.
Uma is able to identify objects but she cannot read, speak or write; she cannot identify or even copy numbers at this time. She has no concept of time and is dependent on caregivers for grooming activity. She can eat on her own and especially loves biryani (a spicy and very tasty mixed rice dish). It is a good thing that she can differentiate between eatable and non-eatable substances. She does not socialize and prefers to be left alone. She manifests problem behaviors like self-injury, biting others and screaming. Our doctor and psychologist are working with her. She is also hyperactive. Although Uma speaks in monosyllables she is able to understand and respond to instructions. Luckily, her physiotherapy report is more positive than the other assessments showing that she has good motor skills, physical balance and coordination, and good muscle tone.
Our work with Uma starts now. Analysing and studying her to work out the most appropriate rehabilitation programs is a large part of what we do, yet not as large a part as loving her back to wholeness!
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