Piper settles in at Halls Head kindy

Loving learning: Special needs assistant Michelle McNamara, aka Mrs Mac, has fun in the classroom with Piper Edwards. Photo: Supplied.

Loving learning: Special needs assistant Michelle McNamara, aka Mrs Mac, has fun in the classroom with Piper Edwards. Photo: Supplied.

Piper Edwards started her kindy journey with 17 other four-year-olds and happily participates in all aspects of learning.

She attends five days a fortnight and is assisted by special needs assistant Michelle McNamara, classroom teachers Ms Colley and Mrs Davies and education assistant Nicki Jones.

Children in the class are enjoying experiencing diversity and opportunities to increase their understanding of individual peer needs.

Piper also receives weekly visits from her teacher of the deaf Stewart Carter, who assists with language and auditory needs. She brings joy to those around her and has settled into school life exceptionally well.

Piper spent the first eight weeks of her life in the NICU. During her stay she had surgery to repair a laryngeal clef among many other tests and procedures.

Eventually, Piper was diagnosed with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, the second most-common chromosome disorder after down syndrome.

It can affect every part of the body and has over 180 possible symptoms. Piper has spent all of her life in and out of hospital.

Right now, Piper's major battles are with severe feeding difficulties, which means she is fed via a tube in her stomach, hearing loss that requires her to wear a hearing aid and low muscle tone, meaning she isn't as strong as she should be.

"Despite all of the difficulties she faces, she is a very bright little girl, determined and so brave - she brings joy to those around her and has settled into school life really well," her mum Leigh said.