Santiago Amaral Herrera
Santiago, or Santi as he is known to friends and family, had just turned 1 year old when he started at Pasitos de Luz in February of 2020. He is an affectionate little boy with an infectious smile who just loves to be the centre of attention. Santi adores his cuddly toys and, when at Casa Connor, is happiest when playing in our nursery area, hugging a teddy bear and listening to his favorite nursery rhymes.
Santi is diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. This means that he has difficulty controlling the movements in his arms and legs and, when he first arrived at Casa Connor, was barely able to move at all. His little body was extremely rigid, he could not hold up his head and he was underweight. Santi cried a lot during his first few days with us.
Our caregivers and therapists have worked closely as a team to help Santi make progress and to improve his quality of life. We started by focusing on reducing the muscle tone in his arms and legs, as well as helping him have more control over his trunk. Through careful stretches, we also encouraged him to develop a greater range of motion in his hips. Santi has been a quick learner, and is now able to sit upright without assistance and can hold small objects in his hands. He absolutely loves sensory stimulation and enjoys exercises involving different textures, which can sometimes make him ticklish.
We have seen progress in other areas too. Since starting at Pasitos de Luz, Santi has come out of his shell and is much more sociable. He greets people with a big smile and cries only rarely, mainly when he is hungry, which is a good sign. Santi now has a much bigger appetite and is eating well! Thanks to the two nutritious meals a day he receives at Casa Connor, he has put on much-needed weight. We are confident that Santi will learn to crawl and eventually walk!
Santi lives with his mom Tania. He is an only child. His mom found out about Pasitos de Luz because she was working at the gas station at which our bus makes its final stop before reaching Casa Connor. Tania had desperately been looking for a place to take Santi for therapy and, after speaking to one of our caregivers, got in touch with us. Santi has already won the hearts of everyone at Pasitos de Luz and we will work hard to make sure he makes the progress that he needs.