Tuba is 2 years old and has Down’s Syndrome. The condition is usually due to the presence of an additional copy of the chromosome trisomy 21, something that is thought to happen by chance. However, as the condition is genetic some recent studies have suggested that exposure to heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury may affect the probability of having a child with Down’s Syndrome. Tuba’s maternal grandmother is a survivor of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, so her mother Gulnaz was already aware that there could be complications with her pregnancy. As Down’s syndrome is diagnosable at birth, Gulnaz immediately began seeking support for Tuba and brought her in to Chingari for assessment in September last year.
As developmental delay is typical in children with Down’s Syndrome, Chingari’s team of physiotherapists were eager to begin working with Tuba at a young age and help her more easily and comfortably achieve important developmental milestones. Tuba suffers from muscle weakness in her limbs, which has delayed her ability to learn to squat, stand, and walk. After 6 months of sustained treatment, Tuba is now able to squat independently, stand unaided for increasingly longer periods, and take at least a few steps. With the continued help of Chingari’s physiotherapists, as well as occupational therapy and special education, Tuba should be able to achieve all her essential physical and educational milestones and more easily adjust to an independent life.
Tuba loves attending Chingari and playing with the other children. She has little interest in toys but always wants to join in with games and have fun with her friends. Her favourite lunch at Chingari is chicken, and her favourite treat is ice cream.