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It’s not uncommon for us to come across news of schools and nurseries expelling or rejecting children with special needs or learning difficulties. However, we came across this beautiful story of Fayrouz, a young girl diagnosed with Rett syndrome, who was empowered by Fun Yard nursery.
According to Rett Syndrome Research Trust, Rett syndrome (RS) is a neurological disorder that is caused by random mutations in a gene called MECP2, diagnosed almost exclusively in girls. Children with RS are unable to speak, walk, or use their hands. Breathing problems, feeding tubes, seizures, anxiety, gastrointestinal, and orthopedic issues are common.
We talked with Mrs. Laila Anwar, co-founder and owner of the nursery, to tell us more about this.
First case to ever come across
When Fayrouz first joined the nursery, Anwar told us that they had to do a lot of research as it was their first time to face such a case or hear about the syndrome, since it’s very rare in Egypt. Anwar added that they conducted some meetings with her parents to collaborate together as a team to offer Fayrouz the safest and most friendly environment.
Empowerment before sympathy
Anwar clarified that Fayrouz had some limitations in using her hands, speech difficulties, and difficulties in going up and down the stairs. She mostly uses her eyes to communicate. That’s why they assigned an assistant for her throughout her day in the nursery. She was taught to communicate with Tobii, a device that uses eye-gaze technology. The nursery’s team is trained to focus on Fayrouz’s facial expressions so they can understand her feelings and offer the needed help. In addition to using an arm splint to control her hand movement.
“We tried to include Fayrouz in all activities to embrace her differences and believe she’s unique and that is what makes her special,” Anwar stated.
Acceptance is the first step
Anwar believes that parents accepting a child with limitations can be challenging. However, she highlighted that the family’s support is the first step because they are the nursery’s right hand in providing the needed information and reports that will help the team in their journey with the child.
“I would love to see all schools accepting and accommodating children with disabilities providing their staffs with the necessary training and support to be able to give those children the best start in life,” Anwar finished her interview with us with this wish and we couldn’t agree more.