EXCITING: Four year old Maggie Allridge with her mum, Krysten.
EXCITING: Four year old Maggie Allridge with her mum, Krysten. Sean Fox

Six months of planning for Rocky girl's first day of school

MAGGIE Allridge has already accomplished a lot in her short life so far.

The four-year-old Rocky girl embarked on her first day of school this week.

And even through she was born with a disproportionate form of dwarfism, she won't let any challenge stand in her way.

 

SPECIAL MEMORIES: Maggie Allridge, who started prep this week, plays with her mum at St. Mary's Catholic Primary School in Rockhampton.
SPECIAL MEMORIES: Maggie Allridge, who started prep this week, plays with her mum at St. Mary's Catholic Primary School in Rockhampton. Sean Fox

"Some forms of dwarfism, they are just a miniature person, Maggie has short and long bones but her torso is a standard length," she said.

The Rocky girl "ran out of puff" as did every other child starting prep this year at St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Rockhampton.

She has already made an impact at the school with her bright disposition and is "very good at finding humour in situations".

Her mum Krysten Thompson said she makes friends easily.

 

MAGGIE'S BRIGHT SMILE: Maggie Allridge, who has dwarfism, at age 14 months. Photo: File.
MAGGIE'S BRIGHT SMILE: Maggie Allridge, who has dwarfism, at age 14 months. Photo: File. Sharyn O'Neill ROK130714smaggie3

Maggie attended extra orientation sessions to prepare for her first day, which worked in her favour as she was familiar with her teacher and the environment.

Krysten said six months of planning was involved before Maggie's first day at school which included meetings and completing paperwork.

She said "a lot of the assistance materials which were available were aimed towards children who had disabilities but were of a normal body proportion".

There are a lot of challenges Maggie will face, even ones which other kids would naturally take for granted, like sitting on a chair.

 

INSPIRING: Bailey Connor, Maggie Allridge and Taneya Shannenare have all been involved in Dwarfism Awareness Month.
INSPIRING: Bailey Connor, Maggie Allridge and Taneya Shannenare have all been involved in Dwarfism Awareness Month. Chris Ison ROK271017cdwarfism4

"Her thighs are so short that she doesn't go anywhere near the back of the seat," Krysten said.

"As she grows and changes, the challenges are going to change as well, we can't know the surgeries she will face down the track.

"It's a bit like a ball of string, you don't know you've got a break in it until you unravel it that far.

"I'm sure as the hurdles come along, we will workshop different ways to get around them and she will be right in the end."

Krysten said the school had been fantastic in accommodating Maggie's needs.

Maggie will travel around the school grounds on a trike, with a couple of footpegs instead of pedals because her feet would not have been able to reach them.

This trike will avoid her wearing out.

The proud mother said Maggie did not cry when she was dropped off at school.

Maggie said she was excited to have already made friends and painted in class.



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