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Case Study: Karla

We met Karla when she was 6 years old, in the spring of 2010. She was brought to the clinic by her grandmother. At first glance, she appeared to be a healthy 6 year old girl. Within a few moments it became obvious that her behavior was not that of a typical child. She didn't speak, but rather muttered and grunted when excited. She never made eye contact or acknowledged our presence in the room. Her grandmother, who spent the entire visit chasing Karla as she attempted to put everything she saw into her mouth, was eventually reduced to tears. "I don't know what to do with her. Please help me," she pleaded.

Karla's mother worked full time and would leave her in the care of her grandmother. She lived in a home that lacked space to play in. In addition, with her grandfather's workshop there, there were many potential dangers. Karla had to be hospitalized once for swallowing paint thinner.

Karla was one of the children who inspired our team to develop the idea for La Escuelita. She is doing much better now that she is receiving attention from several specialists, however, what she is lacking is the chance to go to school. With La Escuelita opening, this will finally be an option for her. It will provide a safe and clean environment for her to play in and interact with other children, something that every child deserves.