A world-renowned Rett Syndrome communication specialist visited Aylesbury to meet a little girl with the condition – and revealed that she is teaching herself how to spell.
Susan Norwell is based in the US and works with those who are non-verbal – in particular those with Rett Syndrome.
She flew over to meet five-year-old Esmé Davison-Hoult, who was diagnosed with the condition when she was three years old.
The expert spent three days with Esmé and her family in Wendover after the Davison-Hoults raised the cash through fundraising with Esmé’s Allstars, their own charity.
She spent time with the youngster both at home and at school and revealed to parents Anthony and Abigail that their daughter can recognise words.
On the Esmé’s Allstars Facebook page, the family said: “She worked Esmé hard getting some fantastic results.
“It turns out Esmé recognises words in the written form, is starting to spell out short words and has even more to say than we could have imagined.
“She asked for food, for a drink, told us she gets frustrated and sad, told us what she liked about a book, told us the work Susan was asking her to do was too hard (but carried on and did it anyway!).
“It was as exciting and productive an experience as we could have hoped for and just reinforces what a smart cookie she is.”
The next fundraising event is a curry night at The Raj in Wendover on Tuesday June 9.
Tickets are £20 and can be purchased via the Esmé’s Allstars Facebook page.