Parents of baby with dwarfism claim S’pore kindergarten rejected him after learning of his condition

His parents are still in the midst of raising funds for his medication.

Lee Wei Lin | August 28, 2022, 08:55 PM

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In July 2022, a family in Singapore shared a public appeal to raise funds to pay for medication for their 10-month-old son, Jayden.

He was born with achondroplasia, a genetic disorder characterised by dwarfism.

They have raised over S$390,000 so far.

Kindergarten allegedly refused admission due to condition

Jayden's father, 42-year-old Lawrence Toh told 8world that his son was recently refused admission to a kindergarten because of his condition.

He explained that he and his wife intended for Jayden to attend the same school as their older child, a daughter.

Toh said he had emailed the school to tell them about his condition beforehand so they would be "mentally prepared". This was when he knew that Jayden had already been successfully placed in the school.

However, he was met with a disheartening reply.

"Five minutes later, the principal called me to say that they didn't have space for him. He said that the school is very popular and a lot of parents registered (their kids with them), which is why they are full.

I pointed out that this wasn't what he told me in the past -- he said previously that since Jayden's older sister is with the school, he would definitely have a place for Jayden.

The principal said that they had a discussion with their higher-ups, who said that they cannot accept Jayden's condition."

Hopes to find school which will accept Jayden's condition

Toh feels that it is not right for the principal to have rejected Jayden.

"It's not like he's on (a feeding) tube or requires a wheelchair. He's just a little shorter (than others)," he said. "We don't want (Jayden) to be stuck at home all the time -- we hope that he can interact with others and make friends."

The couple now hopes to find a school which will accept Jayden.

Toh has even thought about what it might be like for Jayden when he enters primary school, as they might have to request for his classroom to be located on the first floor if he is unable to climb the stairs. He might also require a table and chair which are lower than other students'.

Jayden's mother, Amanda Tan, added that her wish is to see her son not go through so much pain in the future.

She mused, "(I hope that) he will be treated fairly by society, but society is cruel, so we know that (things) will be difficult (...) I will teach him how to be strong, how to deal with bullies, and how to stand up for himself."

"It will be a very long road, so I'm still learning too."

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