Abdel Jabbar, born on 25/01/2021 in Syria, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. He had a hole in his heart, his immune system was deficient, and he had problems in his glands. Ten months later, he was referred to FISTA for assessment (which was conducted on 21/10/2021). He was accordingly enrolled at FISTA as “the youngest” beneficiary.
Abdel Jabbar had significant developmental delays, including: abnormal gaze behavior (no eye contact), inability to crawl, and little understanding of his surroundings. Therefore, psychomotor and speech therapy services were provided.
- Psychomotor Therapy
Abdel Jabbar did not comprehend the functionality of objects; he used to throw everything on the floor. Moreover, he had looseness in his muscles at all levels (he would lie down on his back without being able to move). However, within a relatively short period of time (three months later), Abdel Jabbar’s progress became evident. He is now able to sit in a balanced way for a long period of time. In addition, he can hold toys and share them with others. Abdel Jaber’s rapid progress was astonishing for the team to witness.
- Speech Therapy
Similarly, Abdel Jabbar displayed significant progress in a short period of time. He learned how to use “cause and effect toys”, such as balls, drums and hand shakers. He is now able to initiate turn taking by throwing the ball spontaneously to the second person. His speech has also improved (he has recently developed babbling). He is now able to produce simple sounds and syllables such as “da da”, “pa pa” and “ta ta”. Furthermore, Abdel Jabbar has developed gestural imitation, such as the imitation of nursery rhymes through gestures.
The progress that Abdel Jabbar has been exhibiting was similarly noted by his parents (who initially reported feeling helpless and hopeless). They were dumbfounded to witness their son’s evolution. In fact, his father once mentioned: “When we first sought help from FISTA, we were not the same. We were depressed. We hated ourselves, and were desperate to find someone who can help us … Now, without doubt, we have realized that hope exists even in life’s darkest moments. Even the smallest change can be seen as a sign of hope.” He later added, with a grin on his face: “Abdel Jabbar can now recognize us and other close family members. Can you imagine? He can even interact with his grandmother on the phone!”
Similarly, Abdel Jabbar’s mother expressed: “I learned a lot from FISTA. Most importantly, I was re-taught how to believe in myself and my son”. At the end of the conversation, his father added: “Even if I had to pay, even if I had to sell my properties, I would keep Abdel Jabbar at FISTA. I advise every parent who has a child with similar problems to not lose hope and to not let his negative thoughts and feelings conquer him. There are always people who can orient you towards the light that was difficult to see. I, for one, was lucky to come across these people.”