Naomi

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“I have a special interest in child neurology and I’d like to eventually go back home and help with autistic kids in Nigeria. There’s a lot of stigma attached to disabled children back home and so I’d like to increase awareness and bring a more holistic approach to their clinical care. The secondary school I went to was one of the best in Nigeria, but at the time that I was there there was a class called the “special class.” And kids who didn’t look like the way other kids looked like were put in that class and weren’t allowed to have classes with anyone else, had their own table they sat on, so we didn’t know how to react to them or with them because we were never in the same environment as them. And then kids who didn’t perform well enough were also shipped off into a subgroup of that. Kids who couldn’t speak properly, kids who walked funny, kids who had a drooping face or something, something that you could tell they were impaired somehow were not treated very nicely. Even in hospitals in Nigeria I’ve never seen a child that looked differently than I did, so there’s not many neurological based special centers for these kinds of kids. There’s orphanages for kids like this that aren’t receiving proper medical care in these homes. I would like to use my background as some sort of foot stool to help them.”