Hu Yi Fan has been working hard at his therapy sessions at Beijing United Hospital since we last reported on him.
An eight-year-old boy with disabilities consistent with Cerebral palsy, a motor-skills defect caused by permanent brain damage, Fan Fan (what his family call him) is also referred to in China as a ‘migrant child’.
Migrant workers seek work far from their hometown and as a consequence are often denied basic rights afforded to local workers due to China’s tight regulatory control of its huge working population. The move to a new city usually negatively impacts the migrant child, especially if they have a disability.
“The problem with migrant parents having a disabled child is that they have no knowledge or information how to deal with the situation and what they can do to improve the life of their child,” said Helen Boyle, founder of the UK-registered charity Migrant Children’s Foundation, MCF, that is currently working with Fan Fan and supporting his therapy at Beijing United.
“Yesterday I went to the hospital with Fan Fan. He had a two-hours therapy session. I spoke with the therapist. She recommended that he has 3 to 4 sessions a week now as he is showing a great improvement. He is trying to walk and his steps are more in time than before. He is also trying to say things. The therapist said that his muscles are stronger and the fact his mother does the regular exercises with him at home is also helping. I bought him a couple of games to help him exercise his finger movements as well as his hand,” she said.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common disorders of childhood. It is congenital which means it is present at birth or before during pregnancy. Exact causes of most cases of CP are unknown. Premature babies have a higher risk of CP. There is no cure but various therapies and treatments are available, some in China.
China is estimated to have over 1 million children with CP.
Daragh Moller is a teacher. He has had a career in journalism, the voluntary sector, the Internet, education and creative writing. He is from Ireland and lives in west Beijing.
Photos courtesy of MCF