A DISABLED two-year-old has been refused entry to a nursery school because staff fear her deformed skull will scare other children.
The nursery, in the village of Alatany in western Russia, said Sofya Zakharova would need to wait until she has had surgery to alter her appearance before she could be admitted.
A disabled two-year-old has been refused entry to a nursery because of the shape of her skull[/caption]
Staff at the nursery said they were worried Sofya Zakharova’s appearance would scare other children[/caption]
It is not known precisely what condition Sofya has, but it has left her with a wider skull and forehead as well as figures and toes some of which are fused together.
She is already due to undergo surgery, but the procedure has been repeatedly delayed.
The case has now been taken up by local charity Rainbow of Goodness, but the school has refused to back down, reportedly telling mum Svetlana Zakharova: “First, you need to arrange an operation so she can go to nursery school like an ordinary child.”
Experts have warned that Sofya’s development could be damaged if she is not given the chance to interact with other children.
Educational Psychologist Ekaterina Belan told local media: “The sooner she gets the experience of interactions, the easier it will be for her to cope with the conditions in which she lives and grows.
“The more interactions she gets, the easier it will be for her to accept herself for who she is.”
Local authorities are now investigating the nursery’s refusal to admit Sofya and the reasons for the delays to her operation.
They also hope to provide Sofya and her parents, who currently live with her grandparents in a house with no running water, stove, or central heating, with a new apartment.
Radiy Khabirov, the head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, said that officials had visited the family and hoped to relocate them before the winter.
“I understand that if it were not for the intervention of the charitable foundation, there would have been no meetings on this and no relocation,” he said.
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“It’s already clear that the rights of the child and parents are violated, and there will now be an appropriate legal assessment.
He added that that he would personally follow the fate of the girl to make sure it stayed on track.
Svetlana Zakharova was told her daughter would need surgery before being admitted to the local nursery[/caption]
Local officials have now intervened in Sofya’s case[/caption]
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