Dongdong is a lively, joyful little boy with Down’s Syndrome. He attends weekly special education and therapy sessions at our FPP Family Services Centre, and is responding to them well. As his family lives in a rural area and are therefore not residents of Changsha city, they are unfortunately not able to participate in government-funded programmes.
During his initial assessment, it was clear that Dongdong had a protruding growth on his neck. His mother explained that it sometimes interferes with his swallowing and she was concerned that it may require surgery, but was daunted by the complex medical system.
In order to determine exactly what was happening with Dongdong, the FPP Cross Care Team assigned to his case recommended that we provide the funding necessary to investigate further. Our team also accompanied her and her son to the hospital. Thankfully, the assessment determined there were no major problems and nothing that needed to be addressed by surgery, to the relief of Dongdong’s mother. On the day of his doctor’s appointment, we also discovered that Dongdong and his mother find it difficult to navigate the complex subway system in Changsha. The team has now devised a plan to help them take advantage of this public transit tool and cut their commute time in half. It is a joy to be able to support families like Dongdong’s in any way we can!
Rural families have a different Hukou (household registration) than urban residents living in cities like Changsha. Resources for these families are limited; very few can receive adequate public education and medical welfare in their villages. To provide a better future for their children, rural families often choose to move away from the village to the city, even when that means having to pay for the benefits themselves. FPP works with families in rural areas like Dongdong’s family, where it is difficult to get access to medical benefits, especially for children with special needs.