Fundación Nido

Creating a magical connection with children with cerebral palsy

Creating a magical connection with children with cerebral palsy Creating a magical connection with children with cerebral palsy play

In the adventures of the Fundación Nido there are five superheroes and superheroines, five mothers and fathers who decided to set up a foundation to care for their children and others like them of all ages, who have severe cerebral palsy. Apart from receiving suitable therapies, the center works on helping children exceed their communicative limitations by encouraging gestures, touch and glances to push past the invisible boundaries of words.

The El Despertar center located in the Aluche neighborhood of Madrid currently caters for 60 people with cerebral palsy and multiple severe disabilities from 3 to 52 years old.

El Despertar operates as a day center. Amaya manages the department in which six physiotherapists treat the boys and girls visiting the center each day. In addition to manual therapies, they also deal with vital issues such as how to prevent the phlegm which can cause choking and making sure to keep pressure sores at bay. The children from the school center as well as those who live in the residence visit this center for half an hour a day.

El Despertar also has its own school. It is a center specifically designed for people with multiple disabilities and severe cerebral palsy and offers the support which the special needs centers cannot provide. They have pre-school and Basic Obligatory Education classrooms, explains Paco, a teacher specializing in special needs who is in charge of the center's educational area. “We organize activities according to the disabilities of the students. We try to adapt the activities in order to provide them with the greatest motor, cognitive and social and emotional development possible”.

As well as being a day center and school, El Despertar is the only permanent home available for 16 people with severe cerebral palsy in Madrid. Mercedes is a psychologist and currently runs this home which children return to from five o'clock in the afternoon, following their therapy in the day center. 6 nursing assistants, 1 occupational therapist and 1 nurse attend to the 16 residents. The space is designed so that each area is recognizable by touch, sight or sensation.

The journalist and writer Andrés Aberasturi, one of the founders of NIDO and its most famous face, wrote a book about his son Cristóbal. In "Cómo explicarte el mundo", without beating around the bush, Cris narrates the difficulties that he has faced as the father of a child with cerebral palsy. Cristobal is now 39 years old and has a lot of complications. But as Mercedes explains, “we don't let people get depressed here”.

Therefore, if you are not someone who smiles a lot or shares positive energy, Fundación NIDO will teach you how to.