Christa was just over one year old when she came to see fourth-year student, Stephyole. She was well-loved, well cared for, and interacted easily with her family, but was not yet able to sit up, something that normally happens at the age of six months. Infants can usually sit up by the age of 6 months.
After a thorough evaluation Stephyole identified a significant weakness in Christa’s trunk muscles, and began working with the infant, and her mother to build this necessary strength. Christa's mother learned how to encourage her daughter to roll over independently, and to push up to support herself on her elbows.
One day, and after much hard work from the HRF team, Christa’s mother came in and was overjoyed- the infant was able to sit on her own!
Early intervention is critical, and a source of common misunderstanding in Haiti. Many children who suffer developmentally, are often carried and coddled, purely out of love and the belief that their difficulty will go away - but instead, muscles atrophy and development is stunted, leaving far greater, lasting impact. In this case, he mother's training by Stephyole was the key to Christa's rapid progress: Christa was able to receive the just-right challenge, and crossed over the hurdle to development.