REACH Lanarkshire Autism Summer Programme 2016
A story by REACH Lanarkshire Autism
REACH Lanarkshire Autism provided summer activities for children and their families across Lanarkshire living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
We organised their first ever family break to Lego Land Discovery and Wiston Lodge, we also held 2 sensory sessions for children with significant sensory needs both in North and South Lanarkshire.
What REACH Lanarkshire Autism Summer Programme 2016 did
The break took place over the summer holidays 2016, our families headed of on their first ever holiday together. Lego Land Discovery was the perfect choice allowing the families to spend a full day together in a structured and safe environment , families were able to go out for dinner and the children had fun playing in each others hotel rooms at night. The children built friendships with each other which had a positive effect on the whole family reducing the feeling of isolation. Hotel, breakfast, transport, Lego Land Discovery tickets and goody bags were all included in the cost which took a big financial strain away from the carers during the holiday.
To finish off our summer 25 of our teens headed off on a weekend trip to Wiston Lodge, children were able to take part in canoeing, treasure hunts, climbing walls, toasting marshmallows around the camp fire, activities our teens have always wanted to try. We recruited qualified staff to co ordinate the activities and due to the complex needs of our teens were able to provide a higher ratio of staff to children.
We recruited 4 session workers with autism experience to support the teens through out the break, Parents were able to have a break from their caring role knowing their children were having a great time. All board, meals, activities, transport were included in the cost which took a big financial strain away from the carer.
We provided 2 sensory sessions for 20 children with significant sensory and communication needs in both North and South Lanarkshire. Children were able to play on the bouncy castle, ball pool and have full use of the sensory equipment for 2 hours while carers had a break from their caring role. We provided snacks and juice for the children. Children were able to play and have fun over the summer in a safe and structured environment with children who see the world the same as them.
We offerd these sessions free to help reduce the financial strain over the summer.
Carers were able to re charge their batteries while their children were having fun. One of the children Scott said " Can we come next year this was the best holiday ever"
What REACH Lanarkshire Autism has learnedThe fund made a massive difference to our Organisation we were able to offer more structured activities to children who would have felt really isolated over the summer months. We had an increase in membership over summer 2016 with families asking if we will be doing family trips every year.
We have been able to show photographs at our support groups to show the families that their children can still achieve even with having an Autism Diagnosis. Offering the trips gave the children the base to form friendships which has enabled them to attend our regular teen group to develop their social skills.