The Kumar Family
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Niam is loving, adventurous, and outgoing by nature. He is also a compassionate, energetic, and curious child. Some of his favorite activities these days include exploring the outdoors, playing and listening to music, being a leader in his class, and being a doting brother to Amaya.
I think we can all agree that environment plays a significant role in development. Niam’s development has been somewhat unique in this regard. Niam is a Heart Warrior: he had open heart surgery for a congenital heart defect (CHD) when he was just four days old. As a result, he has faced many physical and emotional challenges since birth. He has had a number of related medical interventions since then, including a second open heart surgery, and has spent quite a bit of time with doctors, medical personnel, and therapists (including speech and physical therapy). Niam’s courage, resilience, and positive attitude in the face of adversity have astonished us.
Having experienced medical interventions since birth, these situations have given our heart warrior the ability to learn early on how to manage frustrations, try and see the positive in even the most difficult situations, and to work with others to help improve his situation.
While he has successfully overcome many of the challenges he has faced thus far, he still has to contend with some delays, for which he receives regular speech and physical therapy to support his development. Expressive speech is one of Niam’s greatest challenges. He is innately interested in experiencing the world around him, and he never backs down from a challenge. However, he sometimes struggles to verbalize all that is going on in his wonderful mind. In watching him explore and interact with his various environments, Niam often shows us how much he understands despite his difficulties in telling us exactly what he is thinking and how he is making sense of it. In our eyes, he is awe inspiring, and we are privileged to be his guides in this world.