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UAE: Mum hopes for equal opportunity for her special child

suneeti@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 14, 2021

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.”

suneeti@khaleejtimes.com

author

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle down in Koi Samui, Thailand eventually to spend her sunset years by the sea. For now, she writes frequently on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health and almost anything assigned by her editor. Her sojourns can be followed on instagram (suneetiahujakohli), news and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and for the rest, there’s a Facebook account.





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