Beyond Achondroplasia

Growing together with Clara

Gratitude and acknowledgement


In September 2011, when Clara was 1 year-old, she joined the kindergarten Colégio Fundação Alentejo.

Those days were a huge trial for us and for the kindergarten professionals. We wondered if us and them were prepared for the challenge. At that time, Clara was still under CPAP ventilation and it had passed just three months after the cervico-medullar decompression.

We felt fear and anguish. But, as parents we knew that that step had to me taken. And for us, it was crucial to have the professionals full commitment with her.

The first step was a two hours meeting with the kindergarten director, Sofia Ramos (holding Clara´s blue helmet in the photo) and we exposed all Clara´s health problems and particularities and talked about achondroplasia. The director assured with full confidence that the care with Clara would be the best. And so they did. Professionally and with a natural emotional involvement.

We all have grown in confidence and trust and we saw Clara joyfully going to kindergarten everyday and returning happy. Best of all, we admire all the tenderness and care from all with Clara and their work for her full growth: cognitive, emotional, social and motor skills.

In this kindergarten we found a new family. Since the very first time there, we turned off our emotional challenge and demystified our feelings of Clara being “exposed to the outside world”. And then, all became just natural.

Thank you all!

CFA grupo 1 BA

Left ro rigth: Rute, Núria (up), Ana, Sofia (director), Clara, Maria João (her teacher), Mafalda (head to head with Clara), Alexandra and Catarina.


Ana Rodrigues – Clara´s first teacher at the nursery. Incredible human touch


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