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CASE NR 2

Karin and her parents came to us when Karin was only a couple of months old.† They knew that Karin had a visual impairment, but they did not know the reason.† She did not have a diagnosis.† Karinís motor behaviour was retarded, too.† Her parents were very worried, tired and sad when they first came to us.† During the first months we met them very frequently, we had many and long sessions.† We went through the same questions over and over again.† Why did this happen to them?† How is it possible to live with a child with several disabilities?† Is it OK to have ĒnegativeĒ feelings?†

After some time Karinís parents had obtained enough strength and balance to be able to go on with their lives.† They seemed to have reached a point where they could accept that their daughter had these problems and where they were able to meet with her needs.

At that time they started to take a closer look at Karinís retarded motor behaviour and found that she also had another very serious impairment.† In Stockholm there are various supporting teams who work with all kinds of disabilities (?).† As our team only works with children with visual impairment it was important that the different supporting teams cooperated closely with each other.† Those other supporting teams (called habilitating centres) consist of several types of professionals: psychologist, counsellor, special education teacher, speech therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist (?).† Karinís parents had already established a contact with us, a psychologist and a counsellor.† We suggested that they continue to see us and that the other habilitating centres provide the other professionals needed. Arrangements were made according to our proposal and still, after four years, it goes on that way.

We have arranged meetings together with the other supporting teams.†† Support for visually impaired children in Sweden, and even in Stockholm, as we have already mentioned, is divided between many different authorities.† We invite all the parties concerned to these meetings.

When Karin started at a day-care centre we also invited her assistant.

Once the ophthalmologist participated in a meeting, informing about Karinís very unusual diagnosis and on another occasion the habilitating doctor informed about her muscle and brain-damage.

Consequently there are often quite a large number of people taking part in the meetings concerning Karin, but her parents donít mind at all.† They appreciate that so many people care about their daughter.

When you coordinate the different authorities this way you provide a complete supporting net work for the family.† The alternative would have been that the parents had to go from one place to the other and carry the information from one meeting to another.

We asked Karinís parents if they found it difficult to have so many people present at the meetings.† Her father answered very pensively: ĒNo, on the contrary.† It would be terrible for us if all these people did not exist.† That would be a very difficult situation for us.


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