The Co-founder of Lexi and Simon Play Clay Jenina Atukunda appeared on the Groove Cafe today to share about how the creation of her product- playdough was inspired by her son who suffers from Cerebral palsy.
She narrated that her second child Simon was delivered through a C-section because of being a premature baby born weighing less than 2 kilograms.
At twelve months, Atukunda realized that Simon wasn't able to do progressive tasks to enable him to make movements and after a while noticed that his hand was always in a fist. Concerned, she went to the doctors and that is when she was told that her child was suffering from mild motor disability.
“The doctors advised that with the right therapy, my child could get the help that he needed and that's how our journey began. It was very scary having a child with the possibility that he could never walk or even talk,” she narrated.
To get further help, Atukunda sought physiotherapy with private specialist doctors. She acknowledged the support of one the doctors known as Dr. Emmanuel and her househelp who effortlessly dedicated time and energy to help Simon perform his physiotherapy sessions.
“The doctor encouraged me, comforted me and gave me hope that Simon would get better. He was flexible and helped us with sessions at home given that I was working. My maid was very supportive, she learnt everything and whenever she finished her work she would turn to Simon to help him do intensive muscle exercises.”
She added, “It was painful because the muscles were stiff, so the exercises were relaxing the muscles on his limbs but he would cry and was in so much pain. We started with a standing frame because his legs were very weak so we would strip him to a board and he would cry painfully but after sometime he started crawling on his buttocks,” Atukunda said.
“Thereafter, we started improvising. We would get sticks and strap them to his legs to help him move. He started making little steps and in no time he was walking. So along the way we would have exercises for the hands and the doctor proposed that we get play dough to help Simon's veins and muscles be stimulated.”
Atukunda tirelessly looked around for play dough but failed to find it. She instead saw it as an opportunity to make her own and that is how Lexi and Simon Play Clay was birthed.
Now, her seven-year-old son’s experience has taught her patience and forgiveness. “Simon is now in a school that isn't specifically for special needs children and it has helped him interact with other children, enabling him to learn to speak.”
He has gone on to become very popular in his school and during his middle class, he was selected as a subject for an assessment of children’s learning which is the school policy.
“They picked him among his stream and guess what, he won. On that day, he came home excited saying, ‘Mummy see, I've won and even got a cake as a prize!”
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5pm on RX Radio.
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