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Meet the Parents

Shabir Ballim and Tasneem Carrim

Shabir Ballim and Tasneem Carrim

Parents:
Shabir Ballim & Tasneem Carrim

Profession:
Operations Manager & Communications manager

Age of parents:
46 and 44

Child’s name:
Nurayn Carrim Ballim

Age:
2 years 10 months

Is this your only child? No. She has a 6 year old brother, Salif.

Diagnosis of child: 
On the day she was born, we discovered that her right arm was not fully developed. She has no elbow, her humerus and radius are fused, and she also has two fingers on her right hand.  Her left hand is 'normal'. The generic term we believe is ‘dysmelia’.

What are the biggest challenges facing your child on a daily basis?
Nurayn, at this stage of her development, uses her right arm and hand proficiently. As she starts to dress herself and uses her hands more for fine motor actions, she will have to find her own way of getting some things done.  The biggest challenge at the moment is an emotional one in that she notices the difference between her & other children. She has recently begun to refer to her right arm as ‘broken’.

What are the happiest moments you have with your child on a daily basis?
Amongst the happiest moments we share are those moments when she overcomes a difficulty (like climbing or picking up things). Nurayn is full of life, fun and quick to laugh. Her tenacity and drive coupled with her upbeat and positive attitude is an irresistible combination which inspires all who come into contact with her.

Are you a single parent or married? Married.

Has your special needs child had an effect on your marriage?
Both our children have had a positive effect on our marriage. We always had laughter between us and now we laugh with our children.

What has your child taught you about yourself, both positively and negatively?
On the positive side she has taught us that anything is possible whatever obstacles life throws at you. On the negative side we realise that we still live in a condescending and judgemental society which views disability with prejudice and shame.

Are your family and friends supportive?
Our family and friends are the backbone of the achievements we have made. Not only are they supportive but they are indispensible.

Do you take time out, if so what do you do to relax?
Most weekends we surround ourselves with friends and family. We also take regular holidays to the beach or the mountains.

What has made the biggest difference to your child’s quality of life?
She is surrounded by love; at home, with family, at school and with friends. Nurayn has also been treated like every other child. Her disability does not define her; it’s a part of her.

What is your dream for your child?
Our greatest desire, for both our children, is that they are passionate about what they do, live fulfilling lives, and know that they are loved and wanted.

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