A first-year primary schoolgirl in China with cerebral palsy has been taken under the wing of her caring classmates, touching many people on social media.
In June, seven-year-old Zhang Junru, nicknamed Doudou, was shocked and delighted in equal measure when she found out that a primary school in southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality had accepted her.
The little girl’s innocent and joyful reaction to the news moved millions online at the time.
While her mother, Yang Feng, was also delighted at the news, she had niggling concerns that because of her condition, Doudou might face discrimination.
Yang also posted in her Douyin account, which has 783,000 followers, that she would go to school with Doudou every day to keep her company.
It seems she need not have worried.
Yang asked three girls who offered to walk with Doudou on her way from the toilet to the classroom if they thought her daughter’s inability to walk properly was a problem or something to laugh at.
The girls unanimously agreed with one of their number who said: “No. Everyone is born with weaknesses. She is good enough to walk by herself.”
Their response moved Yang as well as many online observers.
“The girl is so great. She sees Doudou’s difference as a weakness instead of disability, something that can be improved and cured,” a Douyin poster said.
“Sometimes it is adults that look at others through a filtered lens. Kids are beautiful,” said another poster.
“All lives are unique,” said a third.
Yang expressed gratitude to her daughter’s classmates who offer Doudou a helping hand wherever she goes.
And the feeling is mutual.
In another video posted on September 7, Yang said Doudou had refused to drink water at school to reduce the number of trips she makes to the bathroom, thereby easing the burden on her classmates.
“They tried to help me despite being so little themselves,” she told her mother.
Doudou was born premature and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she turned two.
Doctors told her parents that she would never be able to stand up.
But the family never gave up, and after years of intensive therapy Doudou was walking unsupported at the age of five.
In June, the video of her disbelieving reaction to news that she had been accepted by a primary school went viral online.
While encouraging her in the video, Yang said afterwards she was “heartbroken” when she heard her daughter’s response because it showed how deeply ingrained the idea is in society that children with cerebral palsy cannot go to school.
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that hinder a person’s ability to move and maintain balance.
Some schools have refused children with the condition believing they do not have enough resources to ensure their physical safety.
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