When Kate, who has Cerebral Palsy affecting her arms and legs, first came to The Infants’ Home aged two, her parents knew The Infants’ Home was ‘the one’. Unlike other centres they had visited, the educators here were keen to embrace Kate’s spectrum of challenges and abilities. Previously, Kate had often felt sad and frustrated that she could not keep up with the other children when they moved on to other activities. So, for her first year in Johnson House, her educators focused on helping Kate to gain the confidence and independence to be an active participant in the day to day life in the centre. Kate’s mum was particularly impressed how the educators always had high expectations for Kate, treating her no differently to other children.
Kate’s parents and educators watched as she blossomed from a cautious, yet sociable child, to one who would happily occupy centre stage amongst her peers and educators with her imaginative storytelling which invariably began with “Once upon a time there was a little girl called Katie…”
They also watched as Kate began to focus on and embrace all the things that she could do, rather than focusing on those things that were difficult due to her disability. And, with the help of liberal applications of ‘fairy spray’ to her legs ‘to make them go’, by the end of her time at The Infants’ Home, Kate had become one of the leaders – a little girl with a big imagination, who was often organising and directing the other children’s dramatic play.
In January 2014 Kate started kindergarten at her local primary school and hasn’t looked back! In her first week, her teacher commended her for her kindness to other children who were finding their first days at school difficult – Kate gave these children a hug and told them they would “be ok”.
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