Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive

Disabilities: Parents give Kiki their best

The day Chiara (Kiki) Roberts was born, her physician most certainly didn’t win any awards for tact or compassion.

In a telephone interview, Kiki’s father Brian Roberts said, “Kiki had skin tags on the side of her face, abnormalities of the cranio-facial region, low set ears, and a small nose and lower jaw. They rushed her out right away and after a while the doctor returned without her, saying, ‘Your daughter is going to be disabled and probably a vegetable the rest of her life. We think she has Goldenhar syndrome.’ The doctor turned and walked out. My wife and I were flabbergasted.”

Four years later, the Robertses learned Kiki had Emanuel (instead of Goldenhar) syndrome, which affects worldwide perhaps a hundred people. According to the National Institutes of Health, the syndrome is a chromosomal disorder disrupting normal development and affecting many parts of the body. Roberts said doctors described the syndrome as a lifelong “severe physical and mental disability.”

At 9, and now living in Minnesota with family, Kiki has been doing well. Said 41-year-old Roberts of his daughter, “She’s super funny and loves to interact with people. She can’t interact verbally, though. She has a really sweet spirit and can be comical in what she does. She is definitely developing a personality. You can tell when she’s not happy, for example.”

She enjoys school, interacting with peers, and learning to walk. To get around, Kiki presently uses a wheelchair pushed by others. Roberts said kids and adults often seem scared and don’t know how to interact with her.

Though an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, Roberts hasn’t been serving any particular congregation of late. He’s employed in private industry.

While explaining what happened to his daughter from the standpoint of his faith, he said, “Kiki is my child and God blessed me with her. I wouldn’t want her any other way than what she is now and I don’t think God wants her to be any other way. People say they will pray for her healing—we hear that a lot—and my wife and I appreciate those prayers and know God can answer them. If in the future God chooses to heal her and make her ‘normal’, that would be good, too. But for now we are striving to give her the best life we can, just like we do with our other child (a 15-year-old boy).”

Facebook: Disabilities by Daniel J. Vance. [Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service.]

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By Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC

Contributing Columnist

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