Although World Cerebral Palsy* day is celebrated on the 6 October, March is “Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month“. In recognition you may see many people wearing green. Why green? The color was chosen to reflect youthfulness and new growth, as well as hope for advancements in treatment and acceptance.
At the age of 4 and unable to walk, young Siphumeze was first referred to the Sabrina Love Foundation by the nursing sister at the Crags Clinic (ironically, Sister Du Preez is also the mom of our fabulous in house occupational therapist, Nicole McDonald!) Siphumeze was admitted to Die Sterreweg Day Care Centre with the clinical diagnosis of “Cerebral palsy spastic quadraplegia”. With grit and determination, young Siphumeze overcame massive hurdles and learnt how to walk, write his name and do simple maths.
Siphumeze was accepted at Carpe Diem** in George – after a short attendance, Siphumeze’s parents brought him back to Plettenberg Bay, preferring to have him closer to them. Having never had any mainstream schooling, he was accepted at Kwanokuthula Primary as a Grade 3 pupil with his classroom facilitator, Louisa. Siphumeze learnt how to type and started with Grade 1 work on his computer (with an extra large keyboard – supplied by Sabrina Love Foundation).
Siphumeze’s physical disability affects his arms, his legs and his speech, but this dynamic young man has managed to flourish! Now a Grade 5 learner, he is a very enthusiastic scholar, often raising his hand to engage in classroom discussions and and to answer questions. Siphumeze’s attendance and acceptance to attend a mainstream school and be included in their local community is what we are striving to achieve for our children at Sabrina Love Foundation.
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*A congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture.Cerebral palsy is due to abnormal brain development, often before birth.Symptoms include exaggerated reflexes, floppy or rigid limbs and involuntary motions. These appear by early childhood.Long-term treatment includes physical and other therapies, drugs and sometimes surgery.
**Carpe Diem School provides for learners with physical-, learning-, ASD and intellectual challenges, between the ages of 6 and 18years in Eden district