Itai is an 8 year old boy from Nahariya with a big, infectious smile. Like most children, he loves creative activities like coloring, drawing and cutting out shapes with scissors. Itai was born with West syndrome, a chromosome abnormality, which has left him with developmental delays and seizures. His seizures are now controlled by medication, but he and his family are hard at work to help him catch up developmentally. It’s not easy.
Itai also has sensory regulation issues – which means that he is easily distracted in his classroom, and therefore can’t participate in many of the learning tasks. He often gets frustrated when he isn’t able to complete a task (which is frequent given his limited motor skills), and his fear of failure causes him to turn off completely when learning tasks are presented to him. It’s a vicious cycle, but thankfully he has a loving family devoted to helping him get past these hurdles, and a dedicated occupational therapist who believes in his ability to achieve.
Itai’s parents participate in his therapy sessions and reinforce what he works on at home. Itai has an intensive therapy schedule, which includes horseback riding and hydro- therapies, in addition to weekly occupational therapy sessions. These therapies are not cheap and are not subsidized by the government. Therefore, his parents turned to the Malki Foundation for help.
The combined efforts of the family, therapist, and the Malki Foundation have paid off.
Itai recently graduated from second grade and he is so excited about this huge milestone that he wanted us to share it with our supporters as well. It is definitely something to be proud of because the road has not been an easy one.
Itai’s mother summed it up perfectly when she said, “You just have to believe and everything will happen in its time. Itai successfully completed 2nd grade despite those who said that he would not be able to because of his disease. In everyone’s eyes, he succeeded big time.”
Congratulations Itai for your incredible accomplishment! May you go from strength to strength and continue to show the world all that you can do.