A playgroup has been set up in Bexhill for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and speech and language delays.
Owlets playgroup will host its first session in the new year and welcomes any children aged five and under who have been diagnosed or are showing signs of ASD.
The aim of the group is to support families as early as possible when developmental delays become apparent.
The volunteers setting up the group are fully trained by the Children’s Centres and are all qualified in community volunteering. They are all local mothers of young children with ASD.
After struggling to find similar groups themselves to reach their children’s additional needs, they decided to set one up to help them to meet other families in similar positions.
“We understand how important support for parents can be and we hope to create a network for parents and a safe environment for the children to play. We are not experts, just parents trying to meet others to share information and support each other,” an Owlets spokeswoman said.
Owlets playgroup sessions will be held at Sidley Children Centre, Ninfield Road.
The group will allow children to play and explore different activities, helping them to develop their social interaction and communication skills, while helping to overcome possible sensory difficulties they may have. The group has access to the children centre’s sensory room which also allows children to have some out-of-the-way time if needed in a safe environment.
Owlets are delighted that Burgess and Co Estate Agents has generously donated £500 to the group. One of the volunteers Natasha Ray, mother of Hughen, aged three with ASD, is an employee at Burgess and Co.
The volunteers are overwhelmed with the support received by Burgess and Co which has enabled them to provide equipment specific to meet the needs of the children attending.
Owlets look forward to meeting other families in the new year. The first session is on Friday, January 6.
The group will run on a Friday morning from 9.30am-11.00am and will run throughout term time.
Siblings will also be welcome; however, the group is targeted at children age 0-5 years only.
For any additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find the group on Facebook by searching Owlets Playgroup. Any telephone enquires can be made to Sidley Children Centre on 01424 724360.
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