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Scholarship for education of Fragile X Syndrome

By UCOL on Tuesday, 30 October 2018

UCOL Lecturer Anita Nicholls

Anita Nicholls is the recipient of a $10,000 AMP National Scholarship, which will allow her to pursue her dream of creating an education programme for parents of children with rare condition, Fragile X Syndrome.

Anita a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at UCOL, on the Wairarapa campus, was delighted to receive this scholarship “I am beyond words, to be the recipient this scholarship through AMP. Receiving this scholarship will help me achieve my dream of creating an education programme to support parents and caregivers of children with Fragile X Syndrome.”

“Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. While there are several successful programmes in place to support families with autistic children, there is no equivalent programme for those families living with Fragile X.”

“This programme will give parents all the confidence and understanding they require to support their child’s complex behavioural, social and learning needs.”

AMP Scholarship judges saw that Anita had the passion to create an education tool for New Zealand families. Her drive to work with children with special needs comes from having two sons with Fragile X Syndrome. They saw that she is determined to find a way to share her years of hard-earned experience with others to provide better support from the day of diagnosis.  

“We’re very proud to celebrate 20 years of AMP Scholarships, having dedicated more than $2.5 million towards helping over 320 remarkable Kiwis. These wonderful and inspirational New Zealanders’ pursuit of their dreams have encouraged and positively impacted countless others in ways we couldn’t imagine.” AMP Managing Director Blair Vernon says.

As this project gets underway Anita will be will be working with Dr Martyn Matthews, author of the parent education program that is now delivered by Explore around New Zealand, and Andrea Lee, National Coordinator Fragile X New Zealand.