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ABA Therapy


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Rikards came to his parents only 5 years after the wedding; he is a very expected and loved child: his mum was already 41 at the time, and his dad was 51 years old. For the first 4 years of his life, Rikards was the most usual boy who played soccer at Marupe club, learned to swim and dive at Ziepniekkalns swimming pool, and together with other children went to Zolitude pre-school.

When Rikards was 4 years old, his mum noticed that lymph nodes in his neck have increased suspiciously. The family doctor calmed the mum down that it is nothing unusual in a child; however, they can attend otorhinolaryngologist, if they want. When inspecting Rikards at the children’s hospital, the doctor said to the resident: send these people to oncologist… At the moment, the mother’s world fell apart for the first time: immediately they attended haemato-oncologist, immunologist, several paediatricians. They went through many various analyses and examinations, and Rikards was even admitted to the hospital for several days to conduct faster and more accurate examinations. All doctors unanimously decided that the boy is completely healthy, and there are no grounds for any worries. They told the mother to calm down and not to pay attention to the enlarged lymph nodes because it may be consequences after a viral infection.

On one February morning Rikards was vomiting, and they decided not to take him to pre-school on that day: after all he might have a virus. In the afternoon, the dad called the mum to come home from work because the child had a headache as well. The mum came come, but the pain was gone, so they decided to dress him up and let him go into the yard with a dog and to take part in a snow-ball fight. Rikards ran out through the back door and after a while returned through the other door, saying: mum, my head hurts; mum, my head hurts. And he collapsed in his mother’s arms.

Ambulance was called, and at the hospital they were immediately sent to computer tomography, as well as magnetic resonance. Rikards was placed in reanimation; then neurosurgeon came and said that there is a growth in the boy’s head which has caused a stroke, and it will be operated on tomorrow.

The next day, surgery was performed; and afterwards a surgeon came to us and said that the surgery has been successful, that the child can be slowly waken up; yet, Rikards did not wake up. It was Friday; and Saturday and Sunday went by. On Monday, the doctor’s came and did a repeated magnetic resonance, informing us that bleeding had taken place during surgery. It had been stopped by coagulating a significant blood vessel, and as a result a blood clot has formed that has closed up carotid and left brain hemisphere. After a year, during the sixth magnetic resonance examination the doctors would find that aneurysm had formed in basilaris artery as well.

Since then Rikards, his parents, and various treatment and rehabilitation specialists have been fighting for his life and its quality. Already three years will soon have passed, since daily visits were started to physiotherapists, ergotherapists, speech therapists, special pedagogues, canis therapists, ABA therapists, rehabilitologists, neurosurgeon, neurologists, endocrinologists, nutrition specialists, etc.

Rikards is learning to walk again, and it is not easy because his sense of balance has been upset; he tries to work with the right side of his body, speak, learn numbers and letters; he attends the first grade in the special school.

Additional ABA therapies are required for Rikards to develop self-care skills and movement abilities, and per year it costs at least EUR 2,400 (USD 3000) .

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