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My child’s name is Oliver. He’s three years old and shows signs of level 3 autism; he can’t verbally communicate and struggles to understand what’s happening around him. He has been using the Stay & Play group for around six weeks.
My son’s Health Visitor, Abi, recommended the group because of his struggles with autism. Oliver has been referred for an ASD assessment by his GP, Paediatrician and when he was at nursery (which has sadly closed down, an event that turned his life upside down). There is a long waiting list for the assessment, but the Kids group has helped me learn how to support Oliver’s needs while we wait for further help.
Since attending, Oliver has learned to be more open around other children with similar learning difficulties. He has not only got used to sharing space with them, but on occasion has even shown signs of enjoying their company.
The Kids staff have helped me teach Oliver to communicate with cards that feature words and images of items that he recognises. While he isn’t repeating words yet, Oliver has led me to the location of an item after seeing an image on a card.
The staff have also helped me identify more of his interests, and pointed out ways he’s exploring sensory activities I would not have noticed before. For example, sensory exploration through his feet.
Thanks to what I’ve learned at the Kids group, I’m able to give Oliver the start in life that he needs. I have the same hopes anybody would: that their child will grow up to have a happy, enjoyable life where they can feel understood and work towards their dreams.