A number of the GRoW Team have children with autism and so we understand the challenges you can face when you have a child with SEN and we can help. GRoW introduced fortnightly SEN sessions last November with the aim of helping to support parents who have children on the autism spectrum or with other special educational needs. Our next SEN Session will take place at 1.00pm on Wednesday 9 June.
Hayley Carr who hosts the SEN sessions with Chantelle and Khatera spoke to us about her own experiences of being a mum to two autistic boys and how being a GRoW participant herself helped her gain the confidence she needed:
Hayley said “When you have a child with additional needs it can feel quite overwhelming. As a single parent one of the biggest issues for me was that I didn’t know where to go for support and I thought no one would understand. My son was diagnosed with autism when he was very young and has communication and sensory issues. The idea of getting a job and leaving my child with somebody who might not understand his needs was a huge worry. Often children with autism can feel overloaded, overstimulated or overwhelmed in everyday surroundings or situations that other children would thrive in. Unless you have some experience of children with autism it can be hard to understand this and if a child is feeling overwhelmed this can quite frequently lead to a meltdown which can be very challenging for anyone to deal with, let alone the child themselves.
It was my local children’s centre in South Ruislip that helped me regain my confidence. My son started going to their nursery from age 2 and it was such a relief for me. They boosted me with help and support and they actually understood my child and his needs. At first I was terrified but after a short while I learned that I could trust them and before long they had my son in a routine and he was very happy. Not only was he gaining confidence but he was making friends too.
Before long I was able to go on to courses at the Children’s Centre and gained 5 certificates which helped me gain experience for work. I met Liz from Belina GRoW at Harefield Children’s Centre and she enrolled me onto the GRoW Programme and now I am so pleased to be able to help other mums like myself with autistic children get ready for work.
I highly recommend Childrens Centre Nurseries, they have made all the difference to me. If you earn below £16,000 then your child’s nursery place is free and the staff are trained in working with children with additional needs. The staff are so knowledgeable and give you the confidence you need that they will take care of your child and work hard to best understand their needs. I think it’s really important to not be afraid of childcare in the right places. Good childcare really benefits your child and it benefits you too as you are then able to take courses, do work experience or find work that will help you improve you and your families opportunities for the future.”
To come along to our next SEN session join our zoom meeting on 9th June at 1.00pm at this link: https://zoom.us/j/92493845177?pwd=c3R0Q2EzMUZuRmRaTnFkRE94OW5Mdz09