Developing abilities and initiating a change in society

Baby during physiotherapy

For parents all over the world, having a handicapped child not only means worries and costs that sometimes cannot be managed, but also a social stigma. This is no different in Kyrgyzstan. Consequently many of children born with a disability are put away in state-run children’s homes or lead a lonely life at home. Isolation means that the kids suffer not only of deprivation, lacking stimulation and integration but are also withheld from competent support to develop intellectual and physical abilities. Because they hardly can move on their own, their bodies become stiff and immobile and arms and legs often cannot be bent anymore. Children, parents and families are overchallenged. Here the Uplift program “Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation” can intervene.

Multiplying knowledge and dissipating stigma

Since 2012 physiotherapists from Europe engage with Uplift to train Uplift-mothers, orphanage staff, therapists, physicians and parents of handicapped children in bodywork. Aim is effective support of these children so they can get a change to progress. This treatment has two positive effects: 1.) A professionally applied therapy improves the physical and emotional development. 2.) It supports parents and carers to gain certainty dealing with their impaired children and promote them according to their needs.Their new abilities give them not only competence in regards of their kids but also self-confidence which effects the whole milieu. Their new competence is a crucial contribution to dissolve stigmatisation of families with disabled children in society.

Learning how to walk through early intervention

It is important to stimulate the sensomotoric development of infants and toddlers, and promote them according to their needs. Early intervention will enhance the ambulatory ability; without this support these children would never learn how to walk.

More joy of life through training

The rehabilitation and movement therapy of older children is aimed at retaining the status quo especially in the area of spasticity. Movement exercises and games are applied according to the child’s motor skills to enhance the circulation, train the muscular system and promote the experience of self-awareness. It may also boost their self-esteem and help them enjoy life again.

Training content

Most voluntary physiotherapists engaged with the Uplift program are specialized in “Bobath” therapy and “Feldenkrais” practice. They conduct training for Uplift-mothers alongside orphanage personnel, therapists, physicians and parents in the following:

  • to recognize and observe the developmental possibilities of the child
  • to individually handle and position the child correctly
  • to acquire treatment strategies and plans
  • to practically apply various physiotherapeutic techniques
  • to apply suitable and supporting movement exercises and games for the individual child
  • to create progress reports and control the quality of the therapy
  • to deploy various aids (wheelchairs, positioning cushions, splints etc.)

Training sequence

The training course is conducted on different levels. First of all the know-how transfer is achieved through training on the job. The therapists are treating the children together with their carer or parent. That way the procedures and maneuvers are explained and rehearsed directly.

We organize complementary regular lessons in small groups where theoretical basic knowledge is being built up and continuously extended.

Our therapists are also giving talks in hospitals and institutions to convince doctors and nurses of the children’s viability and learning ability through actual treatment success.

An introduction course (4 modules of therapy and practice) with special methods as part of the “Bobath” therapy, depending on the institution, is taking place since 2016. It is part of a nationwide competency development. Uplift-mothers from various orphanages, therapists from rehabilitation units as well as clinical doctors are participating.

The program impacts society positively

The positive impact which the kids experience in our program goes hand in hand with the changing mindset towards handicapped children in society. More and more people acknowledge that a disability is not a dead end. Handicapped children and adults can progress remarkably towards independency when supported to develop according to their specific needs.

The program participation in numbers since 2009 (effective: July 2017)

  • Therapists: 11
  • Uplift-mothers: 46
  • Parents: 170
  • Medical personnel: 25
  • Children: 390
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