Greg was born in March 2013. He is blind and has cerebral palsy.
OUR EASTERN EUROPEAN REPRESENTATIVE MET WITH GREG IN MARCH 2016 AND WROTE:
The visit with Greg took place on 15 March 2016. We were waiting for this little guy to be prepared for our visit. During our visit presented were the psychologist of the orphanage and his pedagogue – his pedagogue is the person he is more “attached” to and whom he accepts as very close.
We first received information for him by the staff and latter we had some time to “play” with him. As to words by the staff Greg is a special child.
The first thing that I was surprised about is how isolated little Greg is. He is a permanent carrier of Escheria coli, so most of his life until now he has spent alone in an isolated room… The staff just goes there to change his diaper and clothe and feed him :-(. The doctor shared that the treatment was not successful and that they leave him isolated, so he can clean himself from the Escheria coli … In this period he was hospitalized in Infectious Hospital several times. The staff shared that after that when he was taken out from the isolated reception sector and placed in group from the residential block with other children, he started making up for and was with very good indicators. Please, have in mind that in the isolated room no specialists work with the child, he has been just left alone there for days, weeks, months … Greg started to pronounce syllables, passes a ball and claps with hands for “bravo”, started looking for communication with others. For short period of time he was hospitalized several times and he immediately started regressing. He stopped looking for communication and lost interest and wish for communication. But when in December he had some seizures and he was hospitalized again. Then, he has some virus and stayed in hospital longer. They prescribed him Convulex for these EEG changes wearing epileptic character. But he made allergic reaction and again was hospitalized for testing and to figure out what treatment to find for him. Greg has an allergy to Convulex!!! But as a whole the doctor said that he does not get sick very often. Most of his hospitalizations are for examinations and tests related with his diseases. He is up to date with the immunizations.
The pedagogue and psychologist said the after his last hospitalization (like a month ago) he is very weak, has no tonus, lost weight and was weary. (You should have in mind that when the children from the orphanage are hospitalized, they stay alone in the hospital. None of the staff stays with them :_-(. They are just fed and changed by the staff of the hospital). But now they said he feels a little bit better, eats with appetite and is much calmer. Like a whole the staff shared that Greg is child who is very particular as to the persons that he accepts and have closer contact with. Like such a person he recognizes the pedagogue of the home. He has better relationship with her and accepts her very well.Something else that made the staff surprised is that he started accepting in much higher level physical contact with known adults. The psychologist said that there are moments when he is calm but more frequently he is impatient and tearful. He needs special methods of approach for communication.
The ladies from the orphanage staff told me that Greg deals very well with the walker and they showed us, he can stay on it and pushes him around. He also can sit but only when he wants to. He usually does not stand up or try to in his crib and the psychologist thinks that he just does not want to, not because of the CP. She thinks the CP does not prevent this and she even said “if he really has CP”, she assumes that his problem is rather psychological and not physiological. Their opinion is that Greg delays a lot in his psychomotor development and speech. When I asked if they think that he could have some autistic elements they answered “yes”. I am not sure is that really true because of his long stay alone in isolated rooms, left and abandon, neglected in a room just by himself. Is there someone who can stay preserved and develop well if they are left alone and isolated for almost two years???? I don’t think so! Another question that I asked the personnel was what potential they think that Greg has, and the answer of the psychologist was that she does not see big potential if the child stays there at the orphanage. She is not sure how he can make up for in family environment with individual activities and cares.
My personal impressions from the visit with Greg are better than I thought it would be. This little guy melted my heart. I fall in love with him. He is so tiny and such a sweet little boy. I cannot imagine what would be to live alone for such a long time, and the adults around you to expect from you to be preserved and “normally” developed. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!!!! He is so charming and a beautiful child that has a lot of needs that are not meet in the right way. He is a blind child with background retinopathy and as to the staff he has no vision 100 %. He does not trace light and objects and that must be one of the main reasons for his delayed development but at the same time my opinion is that no one works with him and that he was neglected and abandon alone for too long ….. which also caused more and more delay ….
During my visit Greg accepted me very quick, he liked the physical contact with me and I really could say that he loved it! While I tickled him, he was laughing with loud voice and big smile. I tried to sing him several children’s songs and Greg just stayed quiet and listened to me singing. I tried to make “knock knock” with his feet and he just accepted it. I really suffer for this child and will pray for him, pray that we can find him a family, who will save his life! This precious little boy deserves attention and love, like every child, and what is happening to him in the institution is just very sad. I could not be certain about the autistic elements as my visit was so short time but I just suspect that his behaviors are consequence of no communication with adults and the constant isolation. Please, do not allow this child to stay in the institution without attention, love and personal cares that he deserves. I really think that if he lives in family environment with all the blessings of the family life, he will just achieve more and more!
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