'An open window for me'. Case discussion in Albanian.

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For more than two years, I worked in the center that provides services to marginalized children. I want to recount 'The story of the Wind', a story of the girl, now she must be almost 17, whose life has not been easy.

It was a noon and at the door appeared a girl (then 14) together with her mother. Her mother heard about our center and required help, wanted 'to open a window' for her daughter whose life closed many doors for her at a young age.

Mother confessed that the girl was subdued to surgical operations on her right eye due to cancer in her face which appeared at the age of 10. Faced with this disease, it was an overwhelming and daunting experience for her. "Imagine how it is to see your daughter, while helping the nurse to find a vein therapy" - claimed her mother with tears in her eyes.

She had black hair and her long hair covered her face and bandage on the eye and the rest of the face.

The girl began to show me the ordeals through which she passed, the pain that had brought in her life and constant confrontation with the bitter realities and challenges. The prolonged situation with poor health was aggravated by the psychological situation of the girl and the whole family was struggling to accept such a reality. Removal often occured from family and Kosovo for treatment, constant interruptions of school, fear of illness and longed to live as well as numerous interventions in the face, they had killed substantially self-esteem and self-confidence of the child.
The girl had long been closed in herself, was not sufficiently associated with peers and was full of sorrow and uncertainty about her future. Anxiety and fear accompanied constantly by not allowing her to live her life normally as other children.
I wanted to change her life dramatically!

I began treating the child and followed family counseling. The first sessions worked to build a healthy relationship with the child confidence and acceptance which would enable her to feel accepted and to express its concerns freely. The goal was the girl's family to accept their situation and freed from the anxiety that permeated their lives. The first hearings have bred daughter to maintain social functioning, to prevent further degradation of the psychological and support her emotional development.
Over time our mutual communication was reliable and qualitative. She was intelligent girl, she sensed my acceptance and empathy and gradually began to change her attitude towards the situation. She became open and receptive towards events that accompanied her. She began reflecting on different situations, from those of the past in hospitals abroad, fears of living, hostile behavior from peers or others, and all of this was expressed calmly and objectively, without being affected by great emotions.

While providing counseling for the family, especially the mother which was cooperative and able to do anything for her daughter advises on incentives followed on reinforcement and rewards, to influence growth, self-confidence and her self-assessment.

Deliberations also focused on enhancing the capabilities to manage the disease with confidence and optimism. I encouraged her to engage on various activities to develop herself further and to reinforce the sense of responsibility, success and value that go beyond the physical image.

Era was a willingfull student. The school wanted shortages despite the difficulties he had made during the treatment of the disease. She told me that one day she dreamed of becoming a lawyer, but due to the disease she felt taht due to disease it may be an impossible realization. Lack of adequate institutional support and the circle from which it was often rejected, made her in thinking this way. She felt insecure about her further education therefore I contacted her teacher in order to create a triangle of communication between family, school and our center.

This communication had a positive impact and contributed on improving the situation. We are exchanging information with the teacher and defined the next steps to make more effective interventions. Era began to show positive changes in school successes and created contacts with friends. She felt more proud and secure in school, regained the ability to socialize with peers and was able to build healthy relationships with them, without feeling inferior.
Seeing that the children resurrected her hope for life, I found more motivation to continue. I continued counseling to reinforce the faith and to combat anxiety and uncertainty. Coordination with family and teacher increased impact of our work and enabled the progress of the child.

Today Era is a secured girl, full of ideas and initiatives. The center feels like her home and often joins voluntarily in helping in various activities. I constantly encourage her and after taking responsibility it reinforces the feeling of being valuable, useful and in further developing self-esteem. Era has a strong desire to help others. She now has the motive and desire to build her future which is constantly seen not only in school, proven to be an outstanding student, but also in extracurricular commitments where she was involved. Now you can distinguish  easily her enthusiasm, motivation and desire to live.

One day she confessed that now her desire is not to become a lawyer. "I want to become a psychologist" she said, " to have the opportunity to help others. To offer helf to others in need, like I found it at you. "
Era has convinced me that the challenges cannot extinguish a dream. She managed to make her dream a reality!

Date and time for case discussion: 
20 Jun 2016 - 10:45am
Learning points: 
  • Alternative forms of support must be found by the municipalities as well as other formal or informal approach.
  • Registration is abusive when is related only to restrictions in terms of skills and when standards are lacking.
  • To recognize the role of social work centers since they are institutions that primarily deal with the identification of cases.
  • Criteria should be taken, where in such cases the Ministry of Education can intervene.
  • Its positive that the girl has made progress in continuing education despite the difficulties.
  • Cases must be analyzed in particular since in cases when a child is not accepted and the argument is made in terms of physical skills related to school may also be justified if the level of the students and the school does not correspond and may have negative long-term consequences for the child.
  • We must evaluate objectively the opportunities offered by the schools and appropriateness towards the child in school in order to be in ine with the best interests of the child.
  • It shouldn't be acceptable for the schools to evaluate solely on accepting or not accepting children with disabilities in school therefore to remain the only evaluation by school principals in order to have access but also by other institutions.
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