All children with disabilities want to be in the centre of attention but not all of them have a chance to have their achievements heard. This story is about Aram* (name has been changed to protect identity), age 5, born with cerebral palsy and childbirth trauma. This was the reason that he differedfrom other children and in fact Aram had to overcome numerous challenges and obstacles from infancy before achieving the success he has today. Anna Malkhasyan, age 24 is Full Life NGO speech therapist is very enthusiastic about Aram’s future and development prospects despite the existing challenges.
Although Aram did not meet every developmental milestone and delighted in every discovery, his parents were doing their best to help their child and find the possibilities of rehabilitation so he would start to speak.
Aram seemed to regress; he had fully retreated into his own world. He no longer made eye contact, no longer seemed to hear, no longer seemed to understand the random words, the only sound he produce instead of speaking was “a”.
Aram’s parents tried everything and at some point they felt empathy and decided to put up with this situation and no longer “bother” their child. “He had been this happy, happy little boy… We can’t even describe our sadness. It was unbearable.” – said Aram’s parents with voices filled with angst.
“It is already a month Aram is attending Full Life’s Independent life support centre for children with disabilities. When I first saw him, this little boy was deep in the inner wordless world” her voice trailed off. Nevertheless, I told him that I do believe in his abilities and that he will talk for sure. When I talked to Aram’s parents I realized that Aram is fond of music. Thus, an ideas came to my mind to apply music therapy as a child speech development method” – said Anna.
Although Aram’s parents were sceptic about music therapy, yet a miracle happened.
During the therapy, Anna was trying to communicate with Aram when suddenly a beautiful sound of reed pipe was vibrating from the next room. This was a young man with visual impairment who was rehearsing the song on his reed pipe for his friends at the centre. The young man was involved in the vocational education courses organized for children and young people with disabilities within the USAID funded LIFE program implemented by Save the Children in partnership with Full Life NGO.
Aram’s reaction to the reed pipe music was incredible; a bright smile appeared on his face. “I noticed that he started to react to the music and asked Aram if he would like that young man to come and play the reed pipe for him, and his answer was “YES” pronounced for the first time – Anna sais joyfully.
There was hope for sure.