Ori, who was 18 when he entered our Therapists on Wheels Program, lives in Mitzpeh Ramon, in southern Israel and because of his location, when he joined our program he had not been receiving any benefits or services even from the government.
After the initial assessment, his therapist Ruth worked with the parents to determine Ori needed help with gaining independence. Ruth assessed that one hurdle would be eating on his own due to his “significantly low muscle tone.” In Ruth’s six-month report, she stated that she saw a “significant increase in his ability to organize himself and dress independently” in the morning, including ability to recognize the correct way to put on clothing, and Ori learned how to tie his shoelaces independently. Ruth had taught Ori’s parents activities that raise muscle tone that they worked on with Ori when Ruth left each week, leading Ori to “eat more efficiently without dropping food.”
After six months the therapist set higher goals including more independence in bathing, brushing teeth, shaving, and on school-based goals like handwriting, time telling and math. Math is especially important for independence so he could calculate money. By the one- year mark, Ruth reported that regarding getting ready in the morning, getting dressed and eating, Ori no longer needed monitoring and he made great strides in self-care, although he still needed monitoring or light assistance for brushing teeth and shaving. Ori also progressed in his ability to calculate money and to grasp the concept of time, but he does still struggle greatly with these issues and will need more work. His therapist ended a report by saying “Ori has made significant progress in numerous spheres that the treatment is focusing on, and it is rewarding to see his progress.” Ori’s case shows how far extra therapies can enhance the life of a child with severe disabilities and contribute to independence and confidence in completing daily tasks.