|Anna Kennedy OBE and Alan Gardner plus the "family"|
|My two Square Pegs checking out the new facilities|
The rest of the year has been heavily peppered with new ventures. We set up Stay & Play sessions for disabled children and siblings through the long summer holidays. My two were obviously regulars and it was lovely to set up a play area suitable for both. Bella did her own thing, safely, not judged. Logan got to interact with other kids or focus on solo play depending on his mood...mainly he got to run! For us it was like a port in the storm that is the summer holidays, a trip out for Bella that doesn't mean being strapped in her buggy for safety!
Obviously for us this wasn't enough, what other events are difficult for children with additional needs to access?
Well Father Christmas of course!
As so the Sensory Santa experience was born. Three Saturdays of glitter, biscuits, magic, goody bags, hot chocolates, amazing volunteers, the only Father Christmas who knows more about Pokemon than any Autistic kid with that particular special interest and dozens of fantastic children.
We welcomed 2017 with trepidation, what more could we possibly fit in? Well on January 10th 2017 with the parents memories of New Years hangovers lingering and the kids still breaking themselves back into their school routine we launched I CAN Club. Otherwise known as Independent Children with Additional Needs Club. A multi-sports session for children who may not ordinarily be able to access a club environment, and why the hell should they miss out just because it's not easy? The idea was brought to us by a couple of parents whose children with Down Syndrome were refused access to a club as "the staff weren't trained." Trained in what? Compassion maybe.
For more info on Square Peg Foundation please check out www.squarepegfoundation.org.uk and for info on any Birmingham based activities, sesnory room, Santa, stay & play etc please join our Facebook Group.