Last week we visited the institutions under care in Kostroma – the Orphanage and the Pervomaisky orphanage-boarding school – and handed over 4 laptops for the leaders and specialists of the Portage teams from Kostroma. Our volunteers have pre-installed in advance basic software on them. These computers are from those that the foundation had purchased on the Potanin Foundation’s grants, which were allocated to us, among other things, for the development of the Portage project in Russia.
In the Kostroma orphanage, new computers for Portage specialists were received by its chief physician Svetlana Sergeevna Zhirnova and the head of the institution’s social and legal department, social educator Larisa Valerievna Koroleva.
At the Pervomaisky orphanage-boarding school, productive and reliable laptops were handed over to the director of the orphanage Igor Pavlovich Petrenko and the coach «Portage», the head of the team “Portage” of the Pervomaisky children’s home, consultant of two teams “Portage” in the Kostroma orphanage Ekaterina Subbotina.
Ekaterina noted that all three Portage teams from Kostroma show very good results. Some of the children participating in the project have very serious developmental disorders, but they also have progress.
“It is already the second year that the Pervomaisky boarding school has been participating in the project,” says Ekaterina Subbotina. – The pilot project started in December 2018. It was attended by 4 specialists and 4 children. For the first year, we have seen positive results.
Minor, small, but they are very important, because the children in our orphanage-boarding school – with multiple developmental disabilities: with severe and profound mental retardation and a bunch of concomitant diseases. So we did not expect great success. In the pilot project, our children mainly successfully mastered the skills of an infant, as well as movement and self-care. For example, one of the children – a boy with Down syndrome – learned to walk by the hand. Another began to make up for lost time in development in all areas, little by little – both in play and in self-service, and in the fall he went to first grade at our own institution.
We took the most difficult children into the project to help their development. It is joyful to see that the children get used to us, begin to recognize us, react, make sounds when they meet us, that she has accepted us. We decided, since there is progress, we will continue to work according to the method, and we took one more child. Now, in the second year of the “Portage” project, each of the 4 specialists works with two children – for an hour every day with each child. We ourselves like to see the results of children and we want to work with them even more, study even more. “
According to Ekaterina, every week, as it should be in the Portage community, a meeting of team specialists is held. Now – remotely, as someone works on a watch in the DDI, someone rests at home. While the institution is under strict quarantine, team specialists cannot visit different groups and the process has been suspended. But they hope to resume methodological work.
“In the Kostroma orphanage success is more evident,” notes Ekaterina. – The pilot project has begun there in February of this year and two teams of Portage specialists, 4 people in each, are participating in it. In one team, children have less severe developmental disorders, hence we see more noticeable achievements. These children develop basic and a lot of accompanying skills much faster. And another team works with children with more severe diagnoses and acquired skills are less. In both teams, specialists lead one child in order to learn how to apply the method correctly. And the success, which is remarkable, is noted not only by the specialists of the Portage teams, but also by other employees of the orphanage.
For example, everyone admires the success of a girl with cerebral palsy, who managed to develop hand movements – no one expected that she would be able to do so many different hand movements that she learned thanks to the Portage technique. In my opinion, though not quickly, but noticeable results are brought by constant contact with the child and the fact that we practice the same thing every day! “
We are glad to promote this success of our dear specialists of the Portage teams and we hope that new high-quality laptops will make it possible to quickly and better cope with tables, cards and data that Portage specialists record for each lesson with each child. In addition, thanks to laptops, specialists will be able to take part in the on-line conference of the Portage community, which we are planning to hold.