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Kristers is a 5-year-old boy with several diagnoses: childhood autism, delay in language development related to delay in intellectual development and specific learning and skills disorders; as well as decrease in cognitive abilities, and mental underdevelopment of a moderately severe degree.
While visiting us, Kristers is positive and smiling. Even though he does not speak, yet by sounds, gestures and in his own language the boy clearly points out his wishes. It is difficult for him to be focussed on anything too long, and transition from one activity to the next takes place very quickly. Kristers immediately makes a good connection with the photographer Rolfs, takes him confidently by the hand and leads him to the warehouse containing various sweets. Even though Kristers is not interested in sweets, he is much more interested in the many colourful boxes.
His mum shared that birth had been difficult and complicated, and in the last months of pregnancy her blood pressure had been significantly increased, and the heart rate had been rapid. Kristers lacked oxygen during birth, as the umbilical cord turned out to be wrapped around his neck.
After-birth development had taken place within normal range, and by the age of one and a half years Kristers had learned to walk, speak his first words, put together puzzles, react to various people, and recognise items. However, suddenly at the age of two an unexplained sudden rapid fall took place: everything suddenly stopped, changed, and development regressed. He no longer made eye contact with surrounding people and not even the closest family; he no longer spoke any sounds; he was only interested in the wind, shiny leaves of trees and grass (how it moves); he had no wish to do anything – neither play, nor be with his playmates.
Psychiatrist’s consultation confirmed the diagnosis: childhood autism, delayed language development, delayed intellectual development.
Rat race began: visits to various specialists, consultations, therapy sessions, classes, rehabilitation. Audio and speech therapist, ergotherapist, pearl baths, ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) therapy, and twice a year rehabilitation at the psychiatric department of Gailezers hospital.
For a few years Kristers attended the private kindergarten, but more as an observer. Initially it seemed that cooperation with his peers helped, but then information and external irritants became too much, and for the time being visits to the kindergarten have been cancelled.
The result is visible only after several years of hard work. Thanks to relentlessness and hard work invested by the parents, Kristers currently no longer avoids eye contact, and gradually begins to communicate with strangers, and gradually his language skills develop as well.
Kristers has a one-year-old sister. Initially Kristers pushed his sister away, did not want her, was afraid of her, but his mum did not stop her attempts at promoting their relationship, and now it seems to have worked. Kristers is watching what his sister does, repeats her movements and actions, and both have the same bowls and spoons. Kristers embraces his sister, and mum thinks that these joint activities help with Kristers’ development.
The only earner of the family is dad, and due to work he can be with the family only on weekends. Mum receives mush support from a nanny provided by Association of Disabled Persons and their Friends “Apeirons” for the money donated into the fund “Ziedot.lv”. Nanny’s load is 32 hours per month; it is not much, yet the family greatly appreciates it and rejoices over such a possibility.
Kristers is trying to learn and understand emotions, communication and cooperation, as well as use his fine motor abilities. He likes playing a guitar, music, also music therapy, dancing and clapping.
ABA therapy is considered important and useful for his further development. To continue attending ABA therapy, Kristers needs EUR 200 per month (EUR 2,400 per year). Let’s help!