Matthew is a happy, 4 year old boy with a huge personality and a smile that can light up the room.
Matthew was born from a first pregnancy at the 35th week in QA Hospital in Portsmouth, weighing 5lb 6oz.
During the birth the doctors realised that mum had Strep-B which spread into the placenta and infected it with the bacteria. This caused mum’s sepsis and Matthew’s meningitis which he was born with.
Immediately after birth, Matthew had seizures and doctors put him on full life support for 8 days while he was in a coma. Matthew spent 4 weeks in hospital.
At six months old Matthew was officially diagnosed as Severely Visually Impaired (Blind). He does have light perception. Matthew is able to see bright, block colours and flashing lights within 30 cm. He is able to see within 60c m max if he is in a black-out tent.
Matthew was also given the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. All four of his limbs are affected but his neck is not; mixed parts of his brain are damaged, not just one section.
Matthew joined the Rainbow Centre in March 2019 starting in the Early Intervention group with mum where they took part in conductive education sessions giving them the tools to be able to carry this out at home. In March 2020 the centre had to temporarily close due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Matthew’s family joined in with the Rainbow sessions virtually from home. In January 2021 Matthew moved up to the Nursery and joined in face to face sessions again in the centre.
He settled into the nursery routine well with a little bit of help from Mr Tumble. Matthew enjoys listening to everyone singing his favourite songs are ‘The grand old duke of York’ and ‘If you’re Happy and you know it’, Matthew will join in by clapping his hands with lots of smiles. When he started in the nursery key words like ‘finished’ and ‘bye’ would upset him; he is now able to cope with these words as he knows these are part of the daily routine and he feels safe at Rainbow.
Conductive education has helped Matthew discover the world outside his house, with regular sessions Matthew is slowly learning social skills and is now able to sit on the floor in cross legged sitting using his hands for support, enabling him greater independence to join in with his friends during activities. He is tolerating sensory activities more and won’t always throw away items given to him straight away. He is happy to explore them, especially books.
Matthew is able to stand at the ladder whilst wearing his leg gaiters, he requires facilitation to do this but once he is standing, he is confident and happy to let go with one hand and feel the objects around him.
Once facilitated into four point kneeling Matthew is able to maintain this position for a short period. This enables him to explore objects around him and will give him the starting point to be able to learn to crawl.
All of these skills in time will enable Matthew to be more independent, he will be able to explore the world wround him in his own time