Case Study - Displaced Child

Original Editors - Naomi O'Reilly

Top Contributors - Naomi O'Reilly      

Title[edit | edit source]

Child refugee with cerebral palsy resettled following a period dispacement after bombing of their house in their homeland, and the death of his big brother; Hussain, who was just 16 years old during the bombardment.

Case study modified from the Physiotherapy and Refugees Education Programme. [1]

Abstract[edit | edit source]

Ali is an 8 year old boy with cerebral palsy who have have been resettled in your home as refugees after having to leave their own country as a result of their home being bombed. Their journey from their home country was very challenging, and involved difficulties with human trafficking and having to spend time in a small boat and numerous camps prior to resettlement.

Key Words [edit | edit source]

Conflict, Human Trafficking, Refugee, Family Displacement, Disability, Cerebral Palsy, Trauma

Patient Characteristics[edit | edit source]

First Meeting[edit | edit source]

Ali, 8 years of age, with mild cerebral palsy (CP), has been resettled with family members in your region. Ali has been referred to physiotherapy because of walking difficulties. After the first consultation, where the child is accompanied by all the family members, you have agreed to see the child for regular training sessions where the focus is on movement, strength, balance, etc.

Follow Up Sessions[edit | edit source]

At every session one family member is accompanying and providing relevant information on request. An interpreter with no relation to the family is available for you. You discover as you get to know Ali, there are additional challenges apart from the CP. He seems to enjoy the training but is very tired and cannot tolerate very hard or long sessions. Asking about what he enjoys doing to develop the relationship, a dramatic story appears. The family suffered bombing of their house in their homeland, the big brother; Hussain, 16 years old was out of the house and was killed during the bombardment.

Ali was very close to his big brother and looked up to Hussain and is still grieving the loss. The family never had the chance so far to grieve together, their flight from their home country was dramatic, they had to buy their escape from human traffickers, and crossed the big ocean in a ramshackle boat that was about to sink before they arrived at a safe shore. After having lived for some months in a very basic camp, the family was transferred to a better camp before arriving in your town. Ali speaks about friends that were made during these stays, that he cannot get in touch with now. He does not sleep well, has nightmares, does not eat much, and finds it hard to connect to other children at this stage, he tells you that he might not be able to keep friends anymore.

References [edit | edit source]

  1. Physiotherapy and Refugees Education Programme. PREP Project (2018 - 2021) Available from (Accessed 20 May 2022)