Elle from European Union
Elle was born at 27 weeks gestation in February 2018 and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy (spastic quadriparesis), cerebral atrophy, grade 3 protein energy malnutrition, diffuse muscle hypertonia, and convergent strabismus. After a difficult neonatal period at the hospital, Elle was placed into an orphanage at about five weeks of age. Her development is significantly delayed and currently at the level of a young infant. Update August 2021: Our in-country representative visited Elle at her new orphanage where she has resided since March 2021. She appears to have transitioned well to this new environment. The orphanage director reports that since her arrival, Elle has begun to eat better and consequently gained weight. Elle appears to have improved head control and has learned to roll from back to belly but tires quickly with all activities. Her hands are constantly clenched into fists which prevents her from carrying out fine motor tasks. Elle enjoys massage but does not receive any therapies or interventions in her new setting. 2020: Elle’s movements are very restricted, and her body is in a slightly arched position. She needs assistance with all tasks of daily living. Elle works with a psychologist, pedagogue, and physical therapist. She is a picky eater who is fed purees five times a day. She sleeps well. Elle enjoys interacting with adults and smiles or laughs when she receives their attention but is not well adapted to other children whom she is only able to observe. She is nonverbal but relates her needs and emotions through facial expressions and sounds. Elle responds when called by name and follows moving objects with her eyes and head to the best of her ability. Sometimes she tries to reach for hanging toys and holds objects placed into her hands. Elle enjoys physical affection and likes to be held and caressed. This calm and positive girl craves human contact and feels lonely when unattended. She is waiting for a family that can provide for her lifelong needs and love her unconditionally.