At Huggy Bear Child Care... Jack Lawrence (centre) with Bintou, Ruby, Mackenzie, Lexi, Olivia, Claudia, Hannah,Elayna, Taylah, Isabella and Mitchell.
PURPLE shirts, shorts and even a cake – youngsters at a Morley-based childcare centre donned the colour to help educate others about Moebius syndrome.
Celebrating the annual international awareness day for the rare neurological disorder this week, kids at Huggy Bear Child Care got into the spirit by all things purple on Tuesday.
But the event was even more special as families got to learn a bit more about one of the centre’s children, Jack Lawrence (5), who was born with the condition.
The syndrome affects cranial nerves, leaving a person unable to move their faces or eyes laterally.
Respiratory problems, speech and swallowing disorders, visual impairments, sleep disorders and weak upper body strength may also be present.
Jack’s mother, Linda, said he had never seen his condition as a setback, but as an opportunity to show others being different does not matter.
“Jack compensates in many ways to communicate to others and express his feelings,” she said.
“It may be a simple movement of his shoulders or tilt of the head, but he lets you know he’s feeling in other ways than changing his facial expression.
“Kids his own age don’t always understand what he’s trying to say to them, as speech has always been difficult, and at times they may think he’s not responding to them. But he is, just in different ways.”
Centre assistant coordinator Jana Bartecki said one of the main priorities of centre was educating all about the “rainbow of diversity”.