Діяна (Deana) will be ten in September, and is part of the second-youngest class of girls. Deana has Down Syndrome, and her parents often visit her, in addition to taking her on holidays [according to the Internat documents that we viewed a few weeks ago]. The fact that Deana does have parents who haven't officially lost custody of her and even take the time to visit her is rare. In this way, she is one of the lucky ones at the Internat as she has somewhat regular contact and exposure to family life. Many girls have been abandoned at birth, are unaware of their parents whereabouts (or even their parents identity!), have experienced the death of one or both parents, etc... the circumstances for each girl are unique (as well as heartwrenching).

Deana has a raspy voice, and she is a fast talker. When I see her, our conversations tend to be abrupt - they sound something like this: "Dobrahdenjennyfuryahksprahvay?" She's got drive and spunk, which is great to see. This gives me some hope - maybe (just maybe) she will not have to live in an institutional setting for the rest of her life.

Deana is always on a mission, always on the go. This is especially true at the Internat park, when a particular swing (The Best Swing... emphasis necessary, as use of this swing can be very competitive) is free. Deana literally bolts over to The Best Swing, and it seems to be her happy place. She'd swing all day if she could.

Deana is very social. She has strong motor and communication skills. Besides swinging, she also loves to pick flowers (I was presented with a huge bouquet of daisies yesterday).

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