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Hala Abed El Jawwad
Hala Abed El Jawwad

The young female, Hala was born in 1989 in Al Maghazi Camp. In her way to school while she was in the first primary grade, she fell down; since then she never walked. Medical checks confirmed she has cancer in the spinal cord that left her with paralysis in the lower limbs (paraplegia). Her upper limbs are functioning normally and her mental capacities are good, however, she stopped going to school because her disability includes loss of control of the bladder and bowels. She is a wheelchair user, but the wheelchair she has is an old and broken one. The developing cancer causes her hard pains that may sometimes lead to short temper, anxiety and despondency. Taking medication for several times each day is obligatory and embarrassing too. 

When PSCF team visited Hala at home, she has had stopped school for 8 years. They found her on a very old wheelchair. According to physicians' reports, it is useless to give her physiotherapy treatments since her cancer is growing. Nevertheless, her cognitive skills, including decision-making, abstract reasoning, and problem solving, and perceptual skills such as peripheral vision and the discrimination of letters, colors, and shapes are all good, which fosters her independence at home. Talking with the mother about Hala, the Psychologist knew that the latter has sleeping horror; what she sees during the day turns into nightmares at night in addition to loss of confidence in others, which are all symptoms of depression. The psychologist tried emotional conveyance treatment, but Hala did not respond, so he tried the self-expression/projection treatment through drawing. He found that physical disability stands as an obstacle between Hala and the outside society. The Psychologist succeeded in gaining Hala's confidence and through stepwise sensitivity removal, he positively changed some of her negative thoughts. The old wheelchair was an obstacle especially that the technical aids for this project are not yet purchased. Through personal efforts and contacts, the Psychologist could provide Hala with a new wheelchair that he brought from a family in Nusirat who have an additional wheelchair. Treatment also included counseling sessions to Hala's family members to raise their awareness and achieve the required complementarity. A plan of integration to family and society was applied. As a result, Hala's sister thought her the alphabet, reading and writing. Hala is so clever, now she can write all her personal data and different words, as well she reads correctly. On the other hand, the new wheelchair helped her to go outside and establish social relationships. For instance, Hala could go alone to visit her elder sister who lives in the same area; she also visited some close relatives in Maghazi camp. According to follow up reports, Hala is better and her family members encourage her to improve. In the upcoming period, the psychologist is going to apply an external integration treatment plan. He will coordinate with Maghazi Community Rehabilitation Society to enroll Hala in non-formal educational programs such as the library, arts, computer lab…etc.