Chen Jiajie, affectionately called Jiajia, is now three years old. Our staff in Qianjin Town first met her back in June 2017. She was just 11 months old and her grandmother had brought her to join our Child Centre and benefit from our Early Childhood Care & Education services.
Jiajia seemed a little different compared to the other children at the centre – she was born with a number of birth defects which caused some developmental delay. Jiajie’s parents worked in a factory seven days a week without any weekend breaks or days off and her grandmother was her sole caregiver. Determined to give Jiajie all the support she needed, her grandmother brought her to our centre every day after that first visit.
Recognizing and being aware of Jiajia’s birth defects, our teachers paid particular attention to her needs and provided her with special, individual and appropriate care to help her develop to her potential. For example, by the time she was one year old, our teachers had taught Jiajia to crawl on a mat. One teacher holding Jiajia legs and another one encouraging her to reach out to toys held in front of her, they managed to successfully teach her, step-by-step, to crawl – a great achievement for little Jiajia.
By the time she was 1.5 years old, Jiajia was still not walking. That is, until one day she came in with her grandmother who said, beaming with excitement, “Jiajia, show the teachers how you can walk”. Then she left Jiajia standing on the mat facing the teachers and Jiajia started walking, unsteadily, but nonetheless, she was really walking! Our teachers think Jiajia is amazing and are pleased with every bit of progress she makes.
Now, Jiajia can walk steadily and speak in simple, broken sentences. When seeing the teachers in the morning, she greets them enthusiastically waving her arms. After class, she collects the toys with the other children and waves everyone goodbye. Recently, she’s begun to say “Xiexie” (meaning “thank you”) when handed toys. At first, these two words that came out a little unclearly and surprised and moved everyone around her – not only because she is so young and managed to say these words for the first time but also because it showed she appreciates and wants to acknowledge the kindness of others. Jiajia is a star – it may take her a little longer to develop and grow up, but her efforts and progress always delight everyone around her in our centre!