UAE: Mum hopes for equal opportunity for her special child
Bobby Thompson says dance therapy helps improve the condition of her daughter with ASD
November of 2015 was a special month for the Thompsons. They were blessed with a daughter, their second child. Over the next two years, Johanna Jerry Thompson achieved all her developmental milestones with ease. “She could feed herself, walk — in fact, run — string words into small sentences and was completely independent,” says Bobby Thompson, Johanna’s mother.
But right after two years and three months, her world changed. Johanna’s physical and mental development started stalling and then regressing.
“She started forgetting her usual way of doing things. We got her checked and found that Johanna was Rett syndrome positive, a rare genetic neurological disorder that occurs exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of the child’s life: their ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe easily. . Life since then has taken a different turn,” says Bobby, who has quit her decade-long career in the shipping industry for Johanna.
As a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Johanna is confined to the four walls of her house most of the time and has limited means to secure overall development. But recently, dance therapy has been extremely helpful for her. “We have seen very good improvement in her. Her mind and body coordination has improved, and so has social engagement and physical fitness,” says Bobby.
“When it comes to being a parent of a special child, we have no regrets that our daughter is a special kid. We have accepted her the way she is. Now we just hope she gets the same respect in society and the same opportunities other kids get.”
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