An invaluable experience for parents, families and therapists

«Against All Odds I Can!»

A Practical Guide for Working with Children with Special Needs

‘’Against All Odds I Can!’’/ ‘’And Yet I Can!’’/’’And still I Can!’’ is a practical guide written with the intention of helping parents, family members and therapists working with and caring for children with special needs. This collection of recommendations is the result of my teaching activities in Kyrgyzstan and Moldavia, where I trained specialists, parents of special needs children and other members of the community interested in the subject.

The guide provides specific instructions on how to work with children whose motor development is not as advanced as it should be and who need special assistance. The book presents explanations and specific therapeutic instructions to be used to stimulate and support the child's sensorimotor development. The book contains anatomical, neurological and pedagogical fundamentals that lead to a successful therapeutic approach. The key focus for all relationships with children is respect for the child; his dignity and the support of his neuromotor development.

Pictures complement the descriptions of the therapeutic techniques described for each individual motor developmental step. A special questionnaire guides the therapist in his observations and assessment of the child and supports him in planning the therapeutic process. Ten short basic rules facilitate communication and an empathetic interaction between the child and his parent or therapist. The book also describes how to deal with spasticity and ways to reduce it, for example positioning and correct handling of the child.

Development is learning and a process that builds on existing capabilities.

As well as my personal experiences gained from many years of work as a physical therapist the book also contains the principal thoughts of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais as well as the findings of modern brain research. This book should be accessible to everyone who looks after a child with special needs.

Christine Ingold

Physiotherapist / Feldenkrais-teacher

Basel, the 2nd of October 2020

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Urgent appeal - Kyrgyzstan needs support during the pandemic

Covid-19 – A tsunami in a landlocked country

When in March 2020 Europe had already descended into a state of crisis, deceptive calm still reigned in Central Asia. The crisis-tested region did not seem overly concerned by the advent of the new lung disease. Officially, there were neither cases nor patients. It was just a virus, albeit a strange and – reputedly – aggressive one.

Kyrgyzstan, with its 6.5 million inhabitants, had already closed its borders with China at the end of January as a precautionary measure. Time would tell what would happen next... At the end of March, after the virus had been detected in new arrivals at the airport in the capital Bishkek, the authorities reacted immediately with a strict nationwide lockdown. As in Europe, people started exchanging little anecdotes about quarantine and various absurdities brought about by the new situation. The older ones among them silently remembered other emergencies.

Even in Kyrgyzstan, they had never seen anything like it. They were fighting against an intangible enemy. In the best season of the year, they were supposed to stay at home, defy the invisible opponent and – as if that alone wasn't enough – they would not be able to make any money.

Their anxiety was not specific, but their fear was.

What would summer bring? No tourists and no other guests - that much was certain. In recent years, this small, picturesque mountainous country has become an insider tip among backpackers, adventurers and wayfaring romantics from all over the world. Freedom, nature and animals, as well as friendly and refreshing people. Accommodation was well booked up for the 2020 season. Theoretically.

And what will happen in autumn or even in winter?

Until the pandemic, a quarter of the working Kyrgyz population had earned their money abroad, mainly in Russia. These migrant workers were also affected by the pandemic, they would lose their jobs and less financial support would go to Kyrgyzstan...

The lockdown ended at the end of May. Kyrgyzstan could finally make up for the two months they had lost, as far as was possible. And above all, they could start earning again, quickly. Back to normality. Repay borrowed money. Get back in the minibus, drive to the market again. Sell, shop, exchange. Feel alive. Meet again, wherever possible. Eight weeks of isolation were more than enough. With so few actual cases, the pandemic had obviously passed by. They had already paid adequately for the invisible problem. The pictures from Italy, New York and other hot spots around the world were seemingly completely forgotten. The focus was the here and now. Life was meant to go on. It just had to.

This feeling lasted two weeks that turned out to be two very significant weeks.

While public attention was on an invasion of locusts raiding neighboring Central Asian countries, the pandemic, all of a sudden, at last broke out in Kyrgyzstan.

The number of atypical pneumonia sufferers linked to COVID-19 has been increasing steadily since mid-June. That doesn't sound very dramatic. But for a country with only 6.5 million inhabitants, up to 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 and associated atypical pneumonia, and up to 80 fatalities a day, is an incomparable disaster. For more than three weeks now, reality has looked like this:

The hospitals are overcrowded, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are exhausted and suffering from COVID-19 themselves, or have already died of it.

Around 30,000 Kyrgyz have contracted COVID since the pandemic began, around 2,500 doctors and medical staff are amongst them. 1,123 people died from the virus.On July 22 this year, 1,108 Kyrgyz officially became infected, 44 died.

Many hotels, restaurants or schools have been temporarily converted into medical emergency centers. Hospitals and pharmacies are overwhelmed, not least because there is a lack of medication.

Just like everywhere else and yet so very different

Yes, we are living through a global pandemic. Yes, the whole world is in a state of emergency and in many parts of the world the situation resembles the state of affairs in Kyrgyzstan.Yet, despite that, reality on the ground looks different here.The numbers in Kyrgyzstan speak for themselves. On July 22 this year, Kyrgyzstan held the world record for new infections and fatalities per capita according to the New York Times 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html

For this reason, the Kyrgyz diaspora, various associations and groups around the world that are connected to Kyrgyzstan and are watching the situation with great concern, launched a varied relief effort.

The people of Kyrgyzstan urgently need medication, oxygen and ventilators, suits and other personal protective equipment (PPE), qualitative laboratory testing kits, and mobile x-ray equipment.

The people of Kyrgyzstan urgently need the assistance and support of people around the world.

This small country must not be forgotten just because the people there no longer have the strength to speak out.

Maren Ernst.                                                  Uplift-Aufwind e.V. – July 23rd, 2020
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://www.uplift-aufwind.org/

 

Physiotherapy training at the Uplift Rehabilitation Center in Bishkek

Participants of the training

As part of the Uplift Program "Expansion of knowledge", the second module of the training on "Physiotherapy and neurorehabilitation for children with special needs" took place in the Uplift Rehabilitation Center in Bishkek from 10th to 19th September 2019.

Both Uplift staff and experts from state Kyrgyz institutions and clinics participated in the training. The methods used in this training are little known in Kyrgyzstan and are new and promising for our specialists. The Kyrgyz participants were enthusiastic and want to use the neurorehabilitation with the ideas from Feldenkrais Method as a promising supplement to their repertoire in the future.

Uplift Therapy Center opens in Tokmok

During the opening

On May 3, 2019, the Uplift therapy center "Вместе мы сильнее" (Vmeste my sil'neye: we are stronger together) was opened in Tokmok, an hour's drive from Bishkek. Uplift employees and parents of children with special needs gathered for the opening ceremony, alongside representatives of both the German Embassy and local public authorities. The parents organized a small celebration and refreshments.

Music Therapy Course Commences

During the course

From April 15 to 19, 2019, German music therapists Viola Grandke and Lawrence Reuters ran the first of four music therapy training modules for Uplift. The modules are part of a two-year course, which is designed for professionals who work with children (as well as adults) and want to use music therapy in their work.

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