Making the leap from nursery to ‘big school’ is not just a big moment for children, it can also a nerve-wracking time for parents – and this is no different for children with disabilities.
Nottingham-based charity Footprints CEC, practices Conductive Education to develop motor, sensory and self-help skills in order to allow children to reach their full potential and enable them to move into mainstream schooling.
Amy Warden and her daughter Matilda have been attending Footprints’ sessions for two and a half years to help Matilda better cope with Hypotonia and Global Development Delay. Both Amy and Matilda have benefited from regular sessions due to the high levels of support they both receive from the Footprints team.
“For over two years we have left every session feeling empowered and determined. The support and advice that Matilda and my family has received has been life changing,” says Amy.
“I will never forget the day back in February 2016 when I received the phone call offering Matilda her place at Footprints. I felt completely overwhelmed with feelings of excitement, relief and hope – I sobbed like a baby!”.
“Although Matilda is now leaving Footprints, she will leave with a determination that will stay with her forever. She will soon be starting big school, equipped with skills that we never thought she would possess and that is all down to practice, dedication and of course the staff and volunteers at Footprints. Everyone who works there is so incredible at what they do and I honestly feel like Matilda can achieve anything, if we try hard enough!” she adds.
Footprints’ Communications Manager, Eileen Sleaford, understands that it is always a difficult time for parents having to watch their child move on, but hopes the skills they pick up at Footprints, arm them going forward.
“If anything, parents of children with disabilities are more anxious about their child starting mainstream education. They are anticipating the additional difficulties that their child will have to overcome and the struggles they will have to fight to ensure inclusion for their child,” says Eileen.
“When a child moves on from our sessions, they are essentially leaving an environment that is completely safe and secure – and that is a hard adjustment for both the child and the parent,” she adds.
She continues, “We are always keen to support families as well as children, so we urge any parent or carer who thinks that they would benefit from our work to get in touch. ”
For more information about Footprints and to get in touch, please visit http://www.footprintscec.org