International Angelman Day

International Angelman Day

February 15th is International Angelman Day. Angelman syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by developmental delays, speech problems, balance problems, intellectual disability, and sometimes seizures. It is common for people with Angelman syndrome to smile and laugh frequently and be enthusiastic.

Zymair, a 4-year-old boy who attends St. Mary’s Special Needs Preschool, was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome in 2018. When his family learned he would never speak or walk, they were devastated. He was enrolled at St. Mary’s Special Needs Preschool in November 2020 and has made incredible progress.

PreschoolEvery morning Zymair arrives at school smiling and excited and is ready to learn. Zymair has made tremendous progress in maintaining eye contact with adults during conversations and in his impulse control, but he still struggles with staying on task and maintaining focus. During circle time, he enjoys looking in the mirror, and he is learning to recognize his picture in a field of two. He is working on using alternative communication devices and other forms of non-verbal communication to greet his teachers and peers and communicate his wants/needs/preferences throughout the day. With the help of a gait trainer, Zymari can now stand and take some steps. He loves to ride his adaptive tricycle, which he is now controlling independently, up and down the hallway.

St. Mary’s has been an inspiration to everyone in Zymair’s family, and we are so proud of how far he has come.

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