Maimoona is 5 years old and has cerebral diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the portion of the brain that controls movement. While most children learn to walk between the ages of 9 and 18 months, Maimoona struggled with crawling and appeared unable to stand without help. Her mother, concerned at the tightness in her daughter’s legs and that Maimoona’s condition might be linked to her grandfather’s exposure to toxic gas during the 1984 disaster, brought her to the Chingari clinic.
At Chingari, Maimoona began a targeted course of physiotherapy designed to help ease the tightness in her legs and give her more independent control. Since starting treatment, Maimoona has learned to stand, sit, and squat independently, as well as ‘kneel walk’ on her knees. Although she cannot yet walk upright unassisted, the hope is with continued work to strengthen her legs this might eventually be achievable.
Maimoona’s condition also affects her cognitive development, and she has been attending speech therapy and special education classes at Chingari. Thanks to speech therapy she has now started responding to her name and has learned new words to communicate with her family and carers. In the special education classes, she has learned to hold a pencil and enjoys doing art. As her condition predominantly affects her legs, she has good upper body coordination and is excellent at activities involving blocks. She can now do colour matching, as well as ring tower and box tower building exercises.
Outside her classes Maimoona loves food and her favourite two things are dairy milk chocolate and ice cream.