At LDN London our Portage and Family Services Team run a drop-in once a week. We provide home-visits for pre-school children who have special educational needs and their families. They help to develop play, communication, and learning.
Ben’s* mother came to one of our sessions as she was worried about him. She told our team that, at the age of 2, he could not use or understand spoken language. He did not respond to his name, made no eye contact, did not seem able join in activities with his parents, and instead preferred to play on his own. He would also become distressed with any change to his routine – at dinner or bath time he would cry and scream or hit his mum and pull her hair.
Our team provided advice and reassurance to the family and fast tracked a referral with a health visitor (a specialist nurse with extra training to support young children). Our team spent time with Ben and his family, at home and at his nursery, to find out more about him. They learned about what he enjoyed doing and came up with ways his mum could use his favourite activities to join in and make a better connection with him.
Our team designed a plan alongside Ben’s parents with each step supporting his development. They helped him gain a place at nursery and saw immediate benefits. Ben became less hyperactive and spent more time playing with his parents and support staff.
LDN also helped Ben and the family to improve his attention, cognition, learning and communication. Together, they introduced a pictoral timetable so he could be aware of his routine, better deal with change, and which made it easier for him to move between activities. They also referred the family to Parent Child Plus, so Ben had more support to improve his understanding of speech and language from which they saw great improvements.
The family also needed more financial support. The team successfully applied for Disability Living Allowance and, because of this, the family could then apply for Carer’s Allowance which provided vital funds for the family.
With LDN London’s support, Ben’s parents now have a better understanding of their son, they have coping strategies, and they feel more relaxed knowing how to support him. Our help has made a big difference to Ben’s life, and he has made amazing progress. His parents join in more activities with him and life as a family is more secure and their future is brighter.
You can find out more about our Early Help and Portage service here
*Name changed to protect anonymity