The Heartbreak of Special Needs

 

Prior to leaving for Guatemala we were advised of some desperate situations  with special needs children. Joan and Colleen rose to the occasion by bringing special toys designed for the needs of these children.

The biggest challenge was Herman a 15-year-old boy with major developmental problems living with his mother and two younger sisters. Herman,who does not speak, is sometimes aggressive with his caregiver sisters and is usually tied or restrained. His living quarters were about the size of our average closet.  Herman has bouts of not sleeping and can be very disruptive to the family when he bangs of the metal walls.

Special toys well received by Herman.

Special toys well received by Herman.

Herman's  living space prior to remake.

Herman’s living space prior to remake.

Colleen presented Herman with two special toys with moving parts and vibrations which delighted him as the pictures show. Joan and Colleen were able to take Herman’s mother to the medical clinic for guidance . They then traveled quite a distance to another town in the back of a picop ( pickup truck) to get medication.

Our  teams biggest contribution to this family however was the total reconstruction of Herman’s living space with a fenced area.  Tom and Shelley did this along with two delightful local contractors, Juliano and Mario.The two day reconstruction involved new block foundation ,cement floor and wooden walls in place of the metal.  Assistant Shelley carried water, mixed cement, other duties and taught Juliano and Mario many colorful english words.

Herman's cousin on left is one of the caregivers along with his ten & five year old sisters.

Herman’s cousin on left is one of the care givers along with his ten & five year old sisters.

Shelley shows Herman how to play with a power saw.
Shelley shows Herman how to play with a power saw.

Tom brings in beams in the crowded construction site.
Tom brings in beams in the crowded construction site.

Juliano (left) and Mario tell Tom were to go and what to do.

Juliano (left) and Mario tell Tom were to go and what to do.

During construction Colleen helped watch over Herman and entertained the 3 girls by blowing up medical gloves.

During construction Colleen helped watch over Herman and entertained the 3 girls by blowing up medical gloves.

Normally very serious the girls screamed with delight.
Normally very serious the girls screamed with delight.

Shelley shoveling it again for the foundation construction.

Shelley shoveling it again for the foundation construction.

The toys had a calming effect for Herman but he is still tethered to the railing.

The toys had a calming effect for Herman but he is still tethered to the railing.

Hermans's sister has to look after as her mother works 10 hours per day at hotel for very low wages.
Hermans’s sister has to look after as her mother works 10 hours per day at hotel for very low wages.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Heartbreak of Special Needs

  1. Kathy

    wow – this is a heart breaker for sure. Well done Chemainus Rotary Team. There is so much to do what seems such a small time. What’s next?

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