This may not seem a huge statement, but for us, this is a real celebration. And it’s all thanks to the support he has received from KIDS, support that you have made possible.

It was when Malachy was a year old that we realised that there was a problem. He stopped hitting milestones, he didn’t speak, acknowledge other children or adults, he was head-butting walls and chewing on things he shouldn’t – wood, stones, the skirting boards.

We now know that Malachy has autism. His condition means he struggles to communicate, with us; with everyone. As his parents we could see how hard he was finding it to understand the world around him. We were desperate to find him help and support quickly, as we knew that support now, whilst he is still so young, can give him the very best chance of a brighter future.

Getting our son the right support

Our consultant recommended KIDS and our health visitor helped up to make contact with this amazing charity when Malachy turned two years old.

Malachy is three now, and it’s been almost exactly a year since he started at his KIDS nursery. He’s starting to say a few words: mum, dad, nan - as you can imagine this means a huge amount to us. Malachy also has a friend, Joseph; this friendship gives me hope that Malachy has a happy future ahead: one where he is not alone and can enjoy the relationships that join us to our families, friends and communities.

Noticing the difference KIDS has made

Leaving Malachy at nursery was a big step for us. He can’t communicate, so he could not tell us if he was happy. However, we can see for ourselves how settled he is with the staff - our wider family have also noticed the changes in him, he’s really started to come out of his shell.

Making connections with new people is a vital part of Malachy being able to live a full life. We are hoping that this early success: his attachment to the staff at KIDS, and his friendship with his peers, will mean that Malachy will continue to learn how to relate to people, and how to live successfully in the future.

KIDS gives Malachy a feeling of independence in a completely safe environment. He is less isolated, less “different” and is happy. We could not ask for more.

The difference you can make 

We are lucky that Malachy secured a nursery space. And we know that as he grows there are other KIDS services that he can benefit from too – all designed to help him achieve his potential. KIDS relies on supporters like you to enable them to provide these specialist services. At the moment, in these times of austerity, your support has become even more critical - every £1 raised makes a difference.

I know you have supported KIDS in the past and would like to ask if you would do so again. If you could give £25, or any amount, your generosity will change young lives for the better.  

If you can help, my family and thousands of other families of children with disabilities, right across the country, will be incredibly grateful. Finally, I’d like to say thank you, for everything you have done, and continue to do for the disabled children that KIDS are supporting to lead full and fulfilling lives.

Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.

With kind regards