At Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity we know the positive impact that early intervention can have for very young children with cerebral palsy and other motor learning impairments in giving them the best possible platform from which to grow, learn and develop. Our sessions provide early intervention services for families all year round.
"It has been a revelation coming to the Charity, my daughter's walking is much better and she is now interacting with her twin. I can really see the benefits of coming to the sessions."
Each year in the UK, 1,800 children are born with cerebral palsy – a condition that affects a child's muscle control and movement, and is often caused by an injury to the brain. It affects people from all social and ethnical backgrounds. As well as experiencing problems with movement, all aspects of the child's development are affected, many having additional needs such as visual and hearing impairments and speech and language issues.
Children with cerebral palsy struggle to learn fundamental skills - they do not have the typical early experiences of their peers because of their disabilities, often excluded from everyday activities in their communities and unable to attend mainstream nursery provision, limiting their opportunities for socialisation and integration. They are at risk of isolation and early intervention is crucial.
For the family the diagnosis, often sudden and unexpected, can be life-altering, financially demanding and distressing as they struggle to find the skills they need to understand and help their child.
"Words cannot express what Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity has done for us, and one day, we will hopefully be able to repay the enormous debt that we owe them – our daughter's happiness, hope and joy"
Too many children with cerebral palsy in the UK are being failed by provision that is fragmented and under-funded. Too few children receive the early and intensive intervention that can enable their full life potential.
"Attending our weekly sessions on a Monday has been brilliant. I saw my son do things I never knew he could do! it was so lovely to see."
Conductive Education is a holistic approach learning through movements, improving gross and fine motor skills, helping the child to find their motivation and using it to become as independent as possible. We support the child to build their self-confidence, self-esteem and increase their communication and self-care skills.
Our transdisciplinary team includes Conductors, paediatric physio, speech and language therapist and outreach worker. They work together to help children to learn in different ways, by using a range of techniques to support children to become independent and to reach their full potential. This is done through careful monitoring, setting and reviewing of learning goals and providing a hands on practical small group session for parents to learn ways of supporting their child which they can carry on in the home. Children are carefully grouped to ensure that their social interaction with their peers can be maximised.
Over the past year we have provided 1,200 hours of hands-on support, working together with parents to develop their child's ability to move, communicate and interact with the world around them.
"He now has a confidence he did not have before and is achieving things we believed would never be possible. As a family, Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity for us is magical and we call it our place of hope"
We aim to provide families with a varied programme of activities and offer additional sessions in music therapy, swimming, messy play, sensory sessions, portage home play and parent support network.
If you would like further information on any of our services or would like to book a place for one of our sessions, please contact our Head of Service, Glenys Creese for details and how to book.
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