Jacinta was born with a condition known as osteogenesis imperfect (OI), commonly known as brittle bone disease. She has extremely fragile bones that break from the lightest of touches. There have been times when Jacinta has suffered as many as four fractures within a three-week period. The fractures are most common in her arms, although she has had others in her ribs.
Lauren and Joe were determined for Jacinta to enjoy everyday childhood experiences, despite the significant risks and challenges presented by her condition.
Simple, everyday activities that the educators and carers of most children take for granted, such as picking up a child, hugging them, changing their nappy and helping them dress, can cause injury to Jacinta’s delicate bones. Jacinta’s educators worked closely with therapists and the early childhood nurse at The Infants’ Home, along with Jacinta’s physiotherapist, occupational therapist, paediatrician and parents, to develop ways to support her inclusion in every aspect of the fun and learning in Murray House.
Lauren sums up The Infants’ Home’s genuine commitment to inclusion through the remarkable experience her family had with us soon after they enrolled. Jacinta had sustained a particularly bad arm fracture that required a cast. Her physio advised Joe and Lauren they needed to keep the injury clean and dry, meaning Jacinta would have to avoid water and sand play with her friends, two of her favourite activities.
Jacinta’s educators were concerned about how this would affect her inclusion, so they devised a workable solution. Joe and Lauren were deeply moved by the educators’ dedication to ensuring their daughter had the same opportunities to play and learn as the other children.
Jacinta is now two and half, and she continues to grow and thrive. She has recently begun pulling herself up to cruise around furniture at home and in childcare. With help from her family, educators and friends, Jacinta will continue to find her way to be a part of the group, and enjoy the simple delights of being a child.
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