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Rupert is seven and has complex cerebral palsy. He has received early years support and currently attends our Saturday and holiday clubs. His mum, Ruth, shares how the clubs have helped Rupert make friends and build his confidence.
Rupert is a sweet, charming little boy who loves spending time with people. He loves music and going out and about. He is very particular about who his friends are and needs to build relationships. This is a particular challenge because he has complex cerebral palsy which means he has developing needs. He is very physically challenged and has both visual and hearing impairments which can make new situations a challenge. He requires specialist equipment to move him safely and needs to be with confident adults as he relies on an adult for all aspects of his day.
We found out about Kids when Rupert was six months old from our specialist health visitor whilst we were waiting for a heart surgery but we weren’t ready to let someone else look after him. He was small but mighty! But just after his first birthday we came to the Early Years team and began our journey with Kids.
We were welcomed by a bright and vibrant team who were really keen to listen to our concerns and put plans into place to support Rupert and his needs. He attended until going to school at three.
At five Rupert returned to Kids for Saturday Club as well as Holiday Club. For us it was much needed respite and an opportunity for him to socialise and build friendships with staff and children. We were once again involved in making sure that there were plans on how to move Rupert safely, give him his meds and how to broaden his horizons.
He has become more confident and enjoys his friends spending time with him. He recognises staff loves the holiday club. He will even tolerate some of the other children sharing his music and loves visiting the local shops at Saturday club to spend his pocket money.
His dad and I really benefit from the respite; just being able to eat breakfast together gives us time to reconnect and when Rupert accesses holiday club we know he’s getting opportunities to be part of something that is so easy for other more able children to access. We love the inclusion that he has; Rupert’s disability has never held him back at Kids.
We hope that Rupert will continue to be part of Kids and that the sessions he attends will help him build confidence in sharing his voice and allow him to keep exploring his community.