Kids with speech problems treated in gaza

Added On June 3, 2015

According to specialists, the speech delay in the Gaza Strip has been in the rise as a result of post war traumas and psychological crisis.
The conflicts caused grave mental and psychological disorders for children.
SOUNDBITE: NAHED YAGHI, Speech delay specialist
"Most of the kids we are treating have speech problems because of the war-related incidents. Some of them have totally lost speech during and after the war. Most of those kids are the ones who were at shelter schools during the war. Many cases who have totally recovered and managed to regain speech lose it again when they go through incidents that remind them of war memories."
Rahaf's mother said her daughter does not suffer from any organic diseases, stressing that the crisis is only psychological. 
She said that her daughter would panic whenever she hears a thunderous sound and suffers from nightmares almost on daily basis.
The lady recalled that her daughter suffered the most during the first week of last summer's Israeli attack on Gaza.
Rahaf's mother hopes that the therapy would continue to show progress and success until her daughter fully recovers.
SOUNDBITE: UM RAFAH, Gaza resident
"My daughter is always scared. Even her toys scare her. For example, she is scared of footballs and balloons. A few days ago she screamed manically during her cousin's birthday because balloons hovered over her head. She has been very sensitive, but I'm hopeful that she will improve and get back to normal."
Every day, at least five children approach the Atfaluna society for speech tests. 
A seven-year-old child in Gaza has lived through three wars, the 2008-2009 and the 2012 attacks in addition to the 2014 major military operation which claimed the lives of more than 2,100 people, including around 500 children. 
SOUNDBITE: MANDI SERDAH, Atfaluna society's official 
"The number of children with speech problems has increased after the war. They have suffered from speech and hearing problems after subjecting to pressure, traumas and panic during the fighting. We have been taking good care of them, and hopefully we will go on with this until they are fully recovered."
The society works to alleviate speech and language problems for children through early screening and intervention. 
It provides a number of entertainment programs to focus on the psychological satisfaction for children and enable them to express their feelings, which would help them speak properly.
Thousands of children, aged between four and fifteen, have benefited from speech and language screening. 
Most of them have been appended to free-of-charge treatment sessions.
The society receives children with speech and language disorders from all over the Gaza Strip on a daily basis for evaluation and treatment through its in-site clinics. 
Screening services are also carried out in kindergardens, schools and organizations upon request.