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Halifax Sisters – Meeting “Special Needs”

by | Sep 20, 2013 | Sisters of Charity, Vincentian Family

sc-halifaxFor more than 50 years, Sister Ruth Anne has been passionately helping children with special needs stay at home and in community.

Sister Ruth Anne admits her patience must be “God-given” or she couldn’t do the work she is called to do. That patience, her special education experience and her Licensed Nursing Assistant certification all serve her well today, as she cares for three special needs individuals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Eleven-year-old Cody is her main responsibility and she’s been with him since he was 17 months old. Cody has Angelmann Syndrome, “a genetic disorder that causes developmental disabilities and neurological problems, such as difficulty speaking, balancing and walking and, in some cases, seizures”. (Mayo Clinic) Luckily, Cody also has Sister Ruth Anne as an advocate and one-on-one in school for six hours most days.

When she’s not taking care of Cody, Sister Ruth Anne sees Peter, a 37-year-old with autism and schizophrenia. Over their 20 years together, Sister Ruth Anne has taught Peter to read. She is also a legal guardian for Anne Marie, a young woman who is non-verbal and autistic. “When I worked at the May Institute, I became Anne Marie’s case manager. When she turned 21, I became her guardian because she had no one,” says Sister Ruth Anne.

Sister Ruth Anne knows she is doing the work she was born to do. “I came so that these children may have life –  a bucket full or an ocean full, it’s their determination.”

Please visit the Sisters of Charity Halifax website for more details of this story of dedication.

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