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Felipe: 20 years of Parsifal

The Anjos Santos family was anxiously waiting for their firstborn, the year was 1994. With a peaceful pregnancy Joana and her husband were enjoying this moment to the fullest. In six months of pregnancy, to everyone's surprise, little Felipe was born, but he had to fight for his life, ended up being admitted to the ICU and was only discharged after 4 months. His childhood was atypical, until he was 1 year old he barely got up, he didn't move his head and, after a few years and lots of exercises, always with public medical supervision, he started to crawl and only at the age of 4 he started to walk with the help of a boot.


(Felipe at age 4, when he started to walk.)

Over the years, he went through numerous consultations and visits to doctors and came to the realization of Felipe's diagnosis: autism with a moderate degree. Around the age of 6, the family met Parsifal. And he reports that at that time he ate practically nothing, no fruit or bread, he only liked lemon juice. He was a very agitated child, and as time went by, he acquired a calmer behavior and overcame his own challenges.

Arrival at the Special School

(At age 7 in shape drawing class)

Arrival at the Special School (At age 7 in the shape drawing class) At Escola Especial, classes in drawing shapes and music were clearly Felipe's favorite moments, in addition to being the teacher's assistant. In the classroom, when stimulated, he loved putting away his notebooks, putting things in their place. He had a need for organization and the family positively directed this behavior at home. At the age of 7, he already put away his grocery shopping and to this day he is the one who makes the beds in the morning, closes the windows of the house at night and doesn't like to see anything messy.

(Celebrating his 13 years at the School with his family)

He seemed to love the classes and took very good care of his school notebooks and recognized them. Felipe has difficulty expressing himself through speech and teacher Adriana kept thinking about what he had really absorbed from the content of the classes that were Mathematics, Portuguese, Botany, History, Fairy Tales, Geography, Physics, Chemistry. “After starting to attend the Therapeutic Workshops at age 16, Felipe stopped in front of me and his mother Joana told me that she thought he wanted to tell me something, he started counting from 1 to 10 showing with his fingers how I did it, this scene was very marked in my memory, I was very emotional. It's as if he knew about my doubt, about what he actually learned during classes. I was surprised and very happy and said: Joana, he can count!”, explains the Coordinator of the Special School Adriana Iozzi, who was Felipe's teacher for 8 years.

Go to Therapeutic Workshops

(Felipe active in Therapeutic Workshops)

At the age of 16, Felipe joins Parsifal's Therapeutic Workshops, which focus on work and emphasize human interaction and the development of manual skills, promoting social interaction and autonomy. Young people and adults work in woodworking, weaving, making musical instruments, felting and baking as a means of achieving motor, psychic and social development.

Another important point in adult life is the continuity of the cultivation of artistic and cultural activities, such as dance, theater, music, in addition to the work of body awareness through yoga and eurythmy, which are the classes that permeate the curriculum of the Workshops.

“During all these years Felipe's development has been visible to us and is recognized by the family. He conquered several abilities, among them, manual and motor skills, rhythm, social interaction, thus achieving the great goal of the Therapeutic Workshops, which is to work with and for the other ”, explains Ana Maria Varejão Coordinator of Therapeutic Workshops.

Work of art that Felipe made together with the therapists at the Weaving Workshop and was sold at the 2021 Christmas Bazaar.

Work of art that Felipe made together with the therapists of the Weaving Workshop and was sold at the Christmas Bazaar 2021. In 2021 at our Christmas Bazaar, where we sell pieces from the Workshops made by students, the visitor Andrea Pires de Oliveira was enchanted by an embroidery made by Felipe.

This work of art is now in her room and she describes the emotion of when she saw the piece for the first time: “I was shocked and couldn't describe in words the emotion I felt when I saw this piece for the first time, I just wanted to have it. next to me and I was curious who had made it. I asked the girl who was selling it and she told me that the person wasn't there, that it was Felipe, but that she could send me a video of him producing the piece so I could meet him,” explains Andrea.

Felipe likes to come to Parsifal so much that his mother spares no effort to do so. She gets up at 4 am to start preparations to arrive at the Institution at 8 am, after facing 3 buses on the way and back. And as she cannot return home, due to the distance, Joana stays at Parsifal helping with whatever is necessary.

It has been 20 years since we have lived in Felipe's company and we are very happy and honored by the trust and affection that his family places in each of us at Parsifal. May we be together for a long time on this journey, always learning and teaching.


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