Boys teach school upside of Down Syndrome

Sam Morrison and Perez Faamasino with education assistant Tracey Harold. www.communitypix.com.au d416835
Sam Morrison and Perez Faamasino with education assistant Tracey Harold. www.communitypix.com.au d416835

Year 3 students Perez Faamasino and Sam Morrison joined Mindarie Primary School in kindergarten and have been learning alongside their peers ever since.

Sam’s mother Collene said both boys had older siblings at the school, which had arranged to keep the pair together each year.

‘It was wonderful for both families to have their youngest child join their siblings,’ Mrs Morrison said.

‘They have always been included in all aspects of their scholastic and social development.

‘There has been great acceptance and support for the boys, with commitment from their teachers, support staff and other students.’

Mrs Morrison said Sam |wasn’t verbal when he started, but learnt Makaton, a sign language often taught to children with Down Syndrome, and the boys had influenced the school community’s attitudes.

‘The kids in the class have all learnt Makaton, and kids in the class have always been very accepting of Sam and Perez,’ she said. ‘These boys have many friends who are charmed by the person they see, not the disability ” two boys who are funny, smart, kind and cheeky fellows.’

Perez’s mother Janine said she was grateful the boys had been part of mainstream school.

‘Mindarie Primary School has been so supportive, especially the aid teachers who have worked with the boys over the years,’ she said.

Vice principal Dawn Bartholomewz said it had been a fantastic learning opportunity for the two boys and other students.

Mrs Morrison said the families wanted to raise awareness of the condition and the school’s success ahead of World Down Syndrome Day tomorrow, March 21.

She said tomorrow, all the classes would have discussions about Down Syndrome, which usually results from an extra chromosome aligned with the 21st pair.

For more information, visit www.dsawa.asn.au.