Friday, March 1, 2013

Pls Support Adel's Education

ADEL’S STORY
I gave birth to Adelaide Shekwoshimi Hideyoshi Ogidion May 30 2007.  I was 46 years old, eleven years older than his father and Adelaide(Adel for short) is our Only child.  He was diagnosed with two holes in the heart (a PDA and VSD) when he was 5 months old.  His life was ebbing away as his heart grew weaker, larger, occupying virtually all his chest, with more than 50% shunt of the blood pumped from his heart into his lungs.  He was weak and blue when I took him to Hudrulaya Narayana (a Heart Hospital) in Bangalore where he had a surgery with support from feminists and friends like Meena Seshu, Pramada Menon, Bene Madunagu, and the humanitarian desk of the hospital.  This is where Adel was diagnosed with the Down Syndrome.

He recovered gradually from the impact of the heart condition

He took a little longer in his case to sit without support, crawl, stand and took his first steps when he was 26 months old.

At this point, I had started bombarding him with Sesame Street, Barney and Vegetale videos.  He took interest in them was learned over the next two years to say his alphabets, sing along and dance.

In all the sessions we had, with his paediatricians and the endocrinologist, they were convinced that he could cope in a regular school because he displayed high level of intelligence.  The Endocrinologist in fact concluded that he must have the mosaic pattern of down syndrome since other children his age could not do certain tasks that Adel was capable of.
At four I enrolled him in a kindergarten class of a faith based institution.  I moved him from there to a private Primary School believing that they had a standard that will enable Adel progress well in his education.

Till this point, I had had to fight discrimination and stigma including from family members (his father and his relatives) who saw Adel as an abnormal and handicapped child.  The traditional way of receiving a child born into a family was not performed for Adel.  All through the hospitalisation and surgery, his father’s relations did not visit him in the hospital.  A huge statement of rejection given what should ordinarily have been the case in a cultural setting where extended families are closely knit.

At three, Adel could call elevators, select the floors, he could identify our hotel rooms, he could tell his way around town, as wrong turns would draw a cry.  From the age of two, he could operate the DVD player, select channels from the TV, operate the mobile phone in and out of various folders, identify all the letters of the alphabet and numbers in whatever order they are presented, including mirror image.

In November 2011, his father left us discontinuing his financial support. One of the reasons he gave was that since I was treating cancer (I have been on treatment for CA breast since December 2010 when I had RMM) and was not in a position to give birth to more children, and the only son I gave him was not normal, he needed to go find some other woman who will have more children for him.  It was an additional pain when in September 2012 the  School wrote me a letter advising me to withdraw my son from their school.  This was shocking because he had passed his examinations.  Convinced that his expulsion from school was a discrimination based on his birth condition, I sued the school and presented evidence of his continually improving performance.  The Judge ruled on 14th February 2013 that the school had acted “in the best interest of the child”.  To pursue appeal on the case, is further depletion of resources needed for his education especially since financial support from his father was no longer forth coming.

With the little resources I had left I approached other much cheaper schools to get him back to school, but the efforts have failed.  He is constantly rejected and I am told to take him to the school of the “deaf and dump”, only school for people with hearing and speech impairment.
The options I have exist only outside Minna, the town where I live and work. Please I need your financial support to take him to Abuja or Lagos to offer him the education he so desperately needs and record a success story that debunks myths, stereotypes and taboos.

I thank you, Adel thanks you For taking the time to read our story and for your anticipated support.
 



Contribute your token to Adel's education's please by visiting Indiegogo

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