Girl, 2, banned from nursery because deformed skull 'would scare other children'
A mother has revealed how she was told that her daughter could not go to a nursery because she could frighten other children.
Sofya Zakharova, two, was born with a deformed skull and her parents were told she should get surgery before applying for a place.
Operations for the girl have been delayed and experts have warned that unless she mixes with other children her development will be affected.
Her parents Svetlana and Rasul, who live in the village of Alatany in Bashkortostan, a federal region of Russia, have battled for Sofya whose fingers and toes are also fused together.
It is not currently known what condition the little girl has.
The couple live with their parents in a house that has no water or heating because the stove is broken and the gas has been disconnected.
They have been helped by local charity Rainbow of Goodness, but the school refused to back down.
The mother said she was told: ‘First, you need to arrange an operation to she can go to nursery school like an ordinary child.’
Sofya’s grandfather Sergei Mikhailov said: ‘They have such a catastrophe here. They said they would do the operation, but then were silent about this.’
The family said that they do not get any disability benefits for Sofya.
Educational psychologist Ekaterina Belan said: ‘The sooner she gets the experience of interactions, the easier it will be for her to cope with the conditions in which she lives and grows.
‘The more interactions she gets, the easier it will be for her to accept herself for who she is.’
Prosecutors have now becoming involved and are looking into why doctors have not yet operated on Sofya and the nursery for refusing to accept her.
Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov: ‘I understand that if it were not for the intervention of the charitable foundation, there would have been no meetings on this and no relocation. It’s already clear that the rights of the child and parents are violated, and there will now be an appropriate legal assessment.’
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