Roving teams identify children with disabilities
HI’s teams regularly search the streets of two cities - Zarqa and Ruseifah, on the outskirts of Amman - for children with disabilities aged six and under. Once a child has been assessed, HI monitors their development and, if they have a developmental delay or disorder, refers their family to a specialist.
Today, the team is visiting the family of five-year-old Ossama. Since contracting meningitis at the age of two, he has had to live with additional complications including behavioural and speech disorders. His mother explains:
"Ossama is hyperactive. He can't communicate properly. He plays with fire and knives, but he doesn’t understand the dangers. We have to keep the windows closed night and day. We’re constantly afraid he might hurt himself."
Consequences of a serious illness
Ossama’s condition prevents him from going to school. "He was supposed to start this year," explains his mother. "If his condition improves, I’d like to enrol him in school - especially for his language skills. But we can’t let him take the bus to school alone. He can’t be left unattended."
Supporting child development
Ossama's parents hope that one day he’ll be able to communicate normally.
"His brothers play with him and talk to him. He understands everything but can’t talk back. He can only say a few words."
HI's team has referred Ossama to a primary health centre run by one of its partners in Marka Hitten camp. He will meet with the centre’s specialists, who will make a detailed assessment of his condition and provide him with care and treatment. HI will cover the cost of the consultation and rehabilitation sessions.