Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ectrodactyly, sometimes referred to as the “Lobster-Claw Syndrome”involves the deficiency or absence of one or more central digits of the hand or foot and is also known as split hand/split foot malformation (SHFM).The hands and feet of people with ectrodactyly are often described as "claw-like" and may include only the thumb and one finger (usually either the little finger, ring finger, or a syndactyly of the two) with similar abnormalities of the feet.
Source: Wikipedia

If you had ectrodactyly, what would you do? If you met someone with ectrodactyly, how would you treat that person?

We all try to be socially correct when our paths cross that of special individuals who are a little different. We perk up, try to look past their differences, pretend we don't see anything, and act extra cheerful around them. Or if we don't do so well at that, we try to avoid them altogether. We all do that. It's probably human nature. It is extremely difficult to treat them normally without trying too hard.

A young girl in my class has Ectrodactyly syndrome. And I, as a Physical Education teacher, find it very challenging to be as fair as I can to everyone, without patronizing her, or pushing her too hard. But she makes it very easy for me. Simply because she sees herself as no different than everyone else. She asks for no modification to the exercises I give out, she attempts everything with full enthusiasm, and she's such a happy camper all the time, I will never forget she's a teenager, just like everyone else in her class, enjoying probably the awesomest period of school (I presume...hehe). Every time I see her, I am moved by her spirit.

Being a PE teacher in the past week has taught me patience, perseverance, creativity, and most of all, humility. Just chatting with these kids, being their friend, gaining their trust and friendship, you realise you are being schooled every day. In that class, there is no lesser individual, every one learns from every one. =)

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