Beautifully Different – Olivia
A Project Celebrating Differences and Triumphs
Olivia is Beautifully Different
Sweet beautiful Olivia is a amazing little 4 year old with Trisomy 21. The term trisomy is used to describe the presence of three chromosomes, rather than the usual matched pair of chromosomes. Olivia was born with three #21 chromosomes. Trisomy 21 is also known as Down syndrome. She also has cognitive and physical delays, as well as mild to moderate hearing loss. Olivia is Beautifully Different!
Something unique about Olivia, is that she is a twin! She, and her twin, were born at 34 weeks and the Neonatologist knew right away that she had physical signs of Down syndrome. He told us his suspicions right in the delivery room. Olivia spent 21 days in the hospital after birth. She had difficulty eating both because of her Downs and also her lack of endurance due to a congenital heart defect. She had a ventricular septal defect (VSD), atrial septal defect (ASD) and cleft mitral valve. Olivia came home with a nasogastric tube to assist with feeding so she could gain weight for surgery. She had open heart surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to repair her heart on February 11, 2015. She was 6 months old. Olivia has had several smaller surgeries, including two sets of ear tubes, eye surgery to correct nystagmus, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.
A day in the Life of Olivia
Olivia attends preschool every day with her twin. They are in the same class. Olivia moves through her day with the rest of the kids. Sometimes, she gets a little distracted and sometimes she chooses not to listen as do most all children her age! She does not have many words yet, so she works hard on effectively communicating with sign language and other physical and verbal cues that are unique to her. She participates in circle time, story time, play time, structured learning and play. So, to sum it up, her day looks much like any other 4 year old’s does!
Loving. Determined. Smart.
Like any other child, Olivia is one of a kind. She has a firecracker personality to match the fierceness of her red hair! Her little smile and almond eyes can brighten anyone’s day. She started walking when she was 3.5 years old. She is wildly independent, sassy, smart and resourceful. To underestimate her would be a mistake! She is capable of great things. With the help of her family, friends and amazing therapists, there is nothing this little girl won’t accomplish. Above all, Miss.Olivia is truly amazing!