Recovery Therapy 2.0
Even since 2005, the Recovery Center is a very important hotspot on our community map and that is because the activity there covers two grounds: one, that of offering complex therapies to children in need and two, that of enabling better access towards such services to children and parents who won’t normally afford them.
However, much like the access to quality information, the accessibility and efficiency of recovery therapies pose a real challenge for parents of children with disabilities, especially in the rural area.
Here is where the Orange Foundation came to our aid. Through the financing we got from them through the “Support an NGO!” program for the “Recovery Therapy 2.0”project, now we can take digitalization to the level of an essential instrument during the therapy sessions held at the Recovery Center. At the same time, more parents of children with disabilities living in the rural area will have better access to quality medical information.
Right now, Mara is a 7 y/o little girl. She’s got a twin sister, Gabi, whose name she’s still having certain troubles to pronounce: “Gabi, my sister’s name is Ga-bi.” . Their father, along with their 78 y/o grandma, are all they’ve got in the world. They all live together in a village near Tulcea.
Mara’s diagnosis is quite peremptory: affective behavioral disorder, with autistic elements in her behavior, polymorphic dislalia. More simply put, what these complicated diagnostics mean is that Mara used to be a child for whom every experience of the world around was reduced to the simple sound of ta-ta-ta. When we first met her, she was a little scared and agitated. At 4 years of age, she wasn’t able to get dressed, to untie her shoes, or eat on her own. She wouldn’t let anybody touch her and, much like a snail, she would have hid in her fragile shell – her protective shield against an indecipherable world, a world she wasn’t able to comprehend and neither to talk about.
But, little by little, Mara started to open up. Right now, her world is gradually more colorful, with every day that passes. She lets out a giggle and claps her tiny hands every time she manages to put another piece in the puzzle. Her small being carries little victories with each therapy session. Besides her speech problems and behavioral issues, Mara also has a weak level of self-coordination and space orientation, as well as slowed down mental processes.
Every day, she needs somebody to teach her, to guide her and to speak her language throughout her journey of self-discovery. It wasn’t an easy thing to do for our therapy team at the beginning, but they knew that neither was it impossible – so they included Mara in the program supported by the “Therapy 2.0” project.
As she’s engaging in interactive “play” sessions, Mara’s progress is quite significant. The MiraRehab programs help her understand causality relationships (cause-effect), develop her self-coordination and motor-planning, develop her movement abilities, improve her thinking, memory and analysis capacities. And her speech development is improving at the same time as well. Her progress is the confirmation we needed, as to see how important it is for this program to keep on running.
This is the way through which we accelerate the therapeutic process and progress for children with disabilities in the South-East of Romania: by using complex technologies that transform physical and cognitive recovery therapy sessions in a fun and enjoyable playground.
The MIRA Platform
The Medical Interactive Recovery Assistant Program is central in our digitization project “Recovery Therapy 2.0”, supported by Oana Bătușariu and financed through Orange Foundation. The platform has two components: one that focuses on managing databases, remote monitorization, data analysis of the progress made by patients (dedicated to medical professionals) and another one, with a variety of games and medical exercises that aims to achieve certain objectives (dedicated to children with movement disabilities).
Cognigames – is a part of the MiraRehab software that we really like. What it consists in are games with a cognitive component that can be used to test and stimulate cognitive functions in children. These games can be played without even having activated the movement sensor. They prompt attention, eye-hand coordination and reaction speed. Thus, one’s cognitive functions, memory and capacity for creating connections get improved.
Every day, we make the best of efforts to make these therapies more accessible to children, as well as to raise awareness about them.