son, Daniel Carmichael, started kindergarten last September. The AQPPT
came to explain to students throughout the school what was our son's
disability was all about. The experience was very positive. The
explanations by Francine Boutin and Karine Villeneuve largely satisfied
the curiosity of the children in his class. So, congratulations for the
initiative by the AQPPT that took the time to teach children everything
about dwarfism with simplicity and efficiency.
Of course, there was the time at the
beginning when the children from other classes looked through the
window to see what Daniel looked like. But the questioning quickly gave
way to acceptance. Now we hear "hello Daniel" here, "hello Daniel "
there. We must teach Daniel to answer other children's questions
correctly even if he does not know them. In his class, children seem to
see in Daniel more his personality that his disability. Besides, he has
no trouble making friends.
We have also been part of a pilot
project with the Centre Cardinal Villeneuve on school integration. Last
year, Daniel was filmed in his pre-kindergarten class; his teacher and
I also participated in the video. This tape was presented to his
kindergarten teacher before the school year began. She really enjoyed
having a glimpse of Daniel before welcoming him. I have seen the
importance to give information to the teacher who welcomes the child
and has to meet his needs. She or he must be well informed because it
is her or his responsibility to establish the best approach to follow
with other children.
In addition, the school fully
cooperated with us. At the end of August, a meeting was set up with the
principal, the teacher, the psychologist and a member of the pilot
project to get them all acquainted with the situation and for them to
see together what could be done to facilitate Daniel's new school year.
On the first day, I attended a parents' meeting. The principal took a
few minutes to inform them that there was a child of small stature in
the group. She then asked them to have a quick word with their children
at home to inform them about Daniel. I was very touched by this great
To do his work, Daniel has some
technical aids like little benches to reach the drinking fountain or do
some painting, a lowered latch on the toilet door, a Tripp Trapp high
chair in the cafeteria, etc. An attendant helps him in physical
education. Because of his hips, he has a walker he uses to go outside.
Unable to get on the school bus, he uses the Paratransit service, that
is, he goes to school by taxi. We made the request to access all these
technical aids when we registered him for kindergarten last February.
The occupational therapist and physiotherapist looking after Daniel
came to the school to assess his needs.
Consequently, we have the joy of
seeing a little boy fondly leaving for school every day. For us, this
indicates that he is well integrated in his environment. We are very
grateful to all those who contributed to this success. I hope this
testimony will encourage and give ideas to parents of young children of
mother of Daniel Carmichael