One of our Short Breaks Senior Practitioners Gina writes about her experience with Udanya, who she takes on short breaks to the Belmont Children’s farm. Gina has been working with Udanya for over a year. Udanya has just turned 12 years old and has Down’s syndrome.
“We go to the farm most weeks and she absolutely loves it there. The staff members are lovely and give us special privileges like feeding the animals and putting them to bed when it closes. We always have great fun together.
Udanya absolutely loves animals and has a great imagination. Every time we go there she is highly engaged and asks for all of the animals’ names. She loves being a part of the community at the farm and always wants to learn more.
Going to the farm for our short break is the ultimate all-round experience for Udanya. Starting from the beginning of our journey when we sing lots of children’s songs on the way there. When we get there I always ensure that she hands the money over as it gives her a responsibility that she may not usually experience in other settings.
It really helps that she’s so familiar with the farm and it’s the same routine that we repeat each time we go. This keeps her calm and confident in the environment.
Since we’ve started visiting the farm, I’ve noticed that she has started to direct me to the animals and been able to name them unaided. She even asks the staff how they are doing. She is showing great compassion and our visits there allow her to improve her social skills too, by engaging with the other children that visit.”
To read more about our Short Breaks service and if it's available in your area, click here.