November 21, 2012
One day last year at about this time, I met “Elisa (not her realname) and her mother when they were at a physical therapy appointment at the Motivation Romania Day Center. Elisa was almost four at the time, and over a period of several months, she had been learning to walk through the therapy. She had also started speech therapy there. Elisa has Down Syndrome which resulted in her developmental delays.
Today, I had the fun experience of seeing Elisa again. She is almost five now and continues to receive speech therapy at Motivation. She imitates her mother and other adults by pretending to talk on a cellphone and she really “talks” up a storm! To say Elisa is cute is an understatement as she so perfectly imitates her mother’s mannerisms and facial expressions, including her infectious smile.
The new and exciting news for Elisa this fall is that she is attending a public kindergarten. Kindergarten in Romania starts at age four, followed by primary school starting at age seven. Part of the excitement is due to the fact that few children with disabilities attend public schools in Romania, and even then, it’s often up to the individual teacher to accept the child. I will check this out further, so watch for an update. This news was too wonderful for me to keep it to myself!
Here are a few photos of Elisa taken recently …