October 20, 2008

A parent’s speech at the 2008 AGM

“As parents of a child with special needs, it can be a very confusing and painful time to try and help your child to grow and develop as much as you hope that they are capable of.

There is lots of advice available, but in the end it comes down to you and doing this job alone. If you are lucky you may find an organisation that can really make a difference to your child as well as you.

We found that in Playskill, they help with not just the child, but give great support to the parent as well, making you feel that you are not alone. They have always been happy to help with any advice and information!

When we first came to Playskill we felt that we were coming into a group of dedicated people who were not only knowledgeable, but also well practised in looking after children with special needs and their stressed parents.

What we didn’t know was that the group was so new, the efforts made to make Playskill work must have been huge, but as parents we can only say thank you for making those efforts, it helps us to feel that someone else is also prepared to put in the same efforts to help our child that we are.

Our son started at Playskill in 2006 with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. We were told (by Doctors) that he may only be mobile within the home, would not be able to feed himself and that he would have learning difficulties.

Thanks to the dedicated staff at Playskill this hasn’t quite happened:

Christopher is very mobile (maybe too mobile) both in the home and outside and in fact he walks to his nursery and back again.

He can actually walk quite long distances.

Christopher can also feed himself with a spoon or fork.

He can also drink through a straw.

Christopher’s speech and language has also come on leaps and bounds and he can say simple sentences

This is a far cry from the rather bleak diagnosis first given to us.

My husband and I feel so fortunate to have found Playskill; they have helped us so much in so many different ways. Words cannot express our gratitude to Andrea Clarke and all the wonderful people who work for Playskill.

It makes us proud that we have been able to be part of this organisation and I hope that you continue to do such an excellent job, looking after not just the people who have been born with problems, but also helping their parents, some of whom need to know that it’s not just them fighting for a better future for their children.”