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Due to a neurodevelopmental disorder, Sydney Wellington, 20, can’t walk, use her hands to feed herself or speak. Now, for the first time, she can communicate using a computerized eye-gazing device.
Wellington has Rett syndrome, a disorder that affects one out of every 10,000 girls, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
"Children are born normal,” Dr. Daniel Tarquinio, a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, told Fox5. “They develop normally. They learn to sit. They learn a few words, they learn to use their hands."
Wellington, too, was born with those abilities, but she lost them lost when she was a toddler.
Rett syndrome patients have excellent eye-gaze, Tarquinio said.
"They can't talk,” he told the news channel, “but they can talk with their eyes."
Children’s Healthcare gave Wellington the computerized device. It will allow her to communicate her emotions, but also her physical ailments— which is key because girls with Rett syndrome often have painful complications like broken bones and serious digestive problems, Tarquinio said.
Shannon Wellington, Sydney’s mother, hopes her daughter will one day be able to communicate her thoughts.
"I would just like her to blossom and be able to have a freer conversation, and say what she wants to say,” Shannon told Fox5.