Imagine Rehan as an out-of-this-world doctor
For most eight year olds, summer means as little schoolwork as possible.
But for Rehan, the best summer ever is not complete without some math and science. He’s currently trying to solve string theory, a complex problem that involves fitting all the laws of the universe into one long equation, like a string.
Rehan is especially interested in what science can tell us about the human body. His passion for science is related to his own experience of cerebral palsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the care he’s received at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
How has coming to Holland Bloorview helped spark your interest in science?
Rehan: My doctors at Holland Bloorview inspire me. I want to be an orthopedic surgeon.
Also, by the time I grow up, I imagine we could be living in space! I want to be a doctor on another planet to help kids on those planets.
What interests you most about space?
Rehan: I want to be a doctor in space, and if I get a chance, I can also help the astronauts discover the very nature of our universe. I’m also interested in the math behind black holes, like the gravitational forces. Black holes are just giant black spheres that suck all the energy in and concentrate it all into a tiny “pea” called the singularity.
When you’re working in space, what do you think some of the challenges might be?
Rehan: There are low gravity environments where you could lose your muscles. But I also want to be in a low-gravity environment so I can jump really high!
Have you shared your plans to be a space-doctor with your doctors at Holland Bloorview?
Rehan: Yes! They think it’s a great idea.
Besides talking science with your doctors, why else do you come to Holland Bloorview?
Rehan: I do occupational therapy, and I take swimming lessons in the pool. I really like the water. It’s so warm, and after a long day, it feels nice to just dip in and relax my legs. It helps me physically.
Also, I was diagnosed with autism while I was in grade 1 at the Bloorview School Authority. I was still very young, so no one told me, and then I learned about it this year.
How does this new diagnosis make you feel?
Rehan: I’m the only one in my new school that has two disabilities and sometimes people say, “I don’t want to play with you because of your disability.”
What do you want people to know about kids with disabilities?
Rehan: My dream is to build awareness and not let kids with disabilities be excluded. If you have imagination and determination, the possibilities are endless! So, I want people to know that kids with disabilities have a higher potential than they may think.
And how is Holland Bloorview helping you reach your potential?
Rehan: I go to robotics at Holland Bloorview, where they teach you focus and concentration. In robotics, you got to build your own robots. One time, we built one that had to rescue something, so we built a baby panda. It was an adorable rescue.
How do you feel when you visit Holland Bloorview, whether for robotics or an appointment?
Rehan: I feel happy. I feel like Holland Bloorview is my second home.
How Holland Bloorview creates a world where disability is embraced:
Our programs help kids and youth with disabilities gain the confidence to be authentically themselves. At Holland Bloorview, we help kids find what makes them smile, with programs like music and art and summer camp. Our robotics program inspires young minds with imaginative play and encourages skill-building. Together, we’re building a world that embraces disability.