Dan attends SEN inclusive glow sessions in the community and Karen also goes to his day service to deliver sessions at Kilton View. Dan has quadraplegic cerebral palsy and is also partially sighted, the amount of enjoyment Dan receives from Karen's class is overwhelming. The massive smile on his face when the music starts and the disco lights come on is amazing. Dan rocks, smiles, shouts and laughs throughout the session and this really makes me smile knowing that he is getting great enjoyment from the glow class. Dan absolutely loves these sessions and we cant thank Karen enough for making them inclusive.
For years I struggled to find a sen inclusive exercise class for Rosa that was suitable. Then we saw a poster for let it glow. I thought It's worth a try it sounds like something she would like and there's been no looking back. Rosa loves these sessions, has made so many friends and it's great that she has found somewhere she fits in. Rosa dances to her own tune, in her own way , quite often the other way to what she is supposed to! Nobody minds! She hasn't just found an exercise class she's found a special place where everyone belongs. She laughs and smiles from the moment she gets out of the car with her glow sticks till she leaves. waving at everyone stood outside waiting for the next class, who all speak to her. Karen celebrates all the small achievements she makes in class and is as proud of them as we are. To anyone who is wondering should we try this class yes you should!
Daisy is 7 years old and has a diagnosis of Autism. Daisy has attended numerous Glow classes and is not the 'typical' class participant, she doesn't follow the routine, she enjoys moving to the music however she sees fit! Karen is able to embrace this and has on number of occasions taken Daisy's lead and incorperated it into the session therefore providing Daisy with 'intensive interaction' on a much bigger scale than just 1:1. At Glow Daisy has the opportunity to showcase all of the beautiful attributes she has to offer, whilst doing so in a caring, non-judgemental environment. Daisy developed a strong connection with Karen and will actively seek her out at the front of the class and happily allow Karen to lead her around the room. GLOW GETS A BIG THUMBS UP FROM US!
Meet Leah, Leah is a 13-year-old girl who loves music and lights and people, unfortunately her family struggle to find suitable activities for her locally, Leah’s parents believe she would really benefit from spending time in a therapeutic sensory environment. The family have to travel over an hour to access a provision like the one we could provide for them on their doorstep. Leah attends our SEN glow sessions and enjoys the opportunity to exercise and have fun with her mum.
We have watched Hannah's confidence grow and her social skills improve, she has blossomed into a beautiful, kind, funny, talented young lady. Today was an emotional day for me as Hannah integrated herself into an unfamiliar group and I was able to observe from a distance. Music, dance and encouragement from yourself and support from other group members has enabled Hannah to believe in herself and given her the courage to try new things and meet new people. To Hannah this is so much more than feeling accepted, it has enabled her to experience a whole new world!
Our daughter Donna who is severely disabled attended Karen’s “Let it Glow” session on a Thursday evening with her support workers from December 2016 to July 2019. Our daughter loves this session and it gives her plenty of stimulation with the music, movement and all the flashing glow sticks. Children attend this session with an adult and people of all ages who have a learning disability. Karen also does a “let it glow” session at the day centre (Kilton View, Brotton) once a month where our daughter attends. We have very little if anything like this in East Cleveland & surrounding areas, in fact Donna hadn't been to anything social and inclusive like this in her 38 years.
Donna's life revolves around music especially when she is having drinks and food. She soon let's you know if she is not happy with the music that is playing. I heard from the Support Workers that you played "Don't worry be happy", you wouldn't have known but it's played to her in the car, Donna laughs and loves it, so much so that if she gets unsettled, we now play it. Fred (donna's dad) & I fight for Donna all the time, she is a human being and needs stimulation to live a life the best she can.
We know how much she gets from it as well as respite from me and her dad! We have recently find out that she has extremely acute osteoarthritis in both hips (one worse than the other). It's just a shame that Donna is not allowed to weight bare now so transferring in and out of cars is out of the question. I've checked on an adapted taxi which would be £24 return Skelton to Brotton which I can't justify each week. Her Support Workers would be able to bring Donna to the sessions once again in her wheelchair as it would be in walking distance. We're keeping everything crossed that Senses Wellbeing Centre opens very soon.
Meet Chloe.....Chloe has autism, mosaic downs' syndrome and severe learning difficulties and this means daily struggles with basic tasks, but if there is one thing that gets her attention and motivates her it's music, so when the Let it Glow class became SEN inclusive and was run 10mins from where we live, that was fabulous news and safe to say Chloe immediately began to enjoy by doing her 'usual dancing' of rocking backwards and forwards. This progressed as time went on to using a few hand movements and then feet, all the time though watching what others are doing and taking it in - this was just to be the start.....
Chloe now attends zumba gold every Tuesday and WOW, how things have moved on with her. She has blossomed into this amazing zumba queen with the ability to do the moves that are asked of her and this is certainly helped by a caring teacher and support worker and a group of people who have got to know Chloe over a period of time and are understanding of her struggles and accept her just the way she is. This is social inclusion and community spirit on a level that I've found so wonderful.
When you have a child with a disability you strive to find places where they 'fit in' without the fear of other people's judgement and prejudices, but unfortunately this is easier said than done unless you are willing to travel out of the area and sometimes these places can be a fair distance.
Senses Well Being Centre is a much and well needed addition to our area and something East Cleveland has been shouting out for for years. A safe, happy, enjoyable place to go to access many different activities and for Chloe to carry on enjoying the music and dancing and not forgetting the people she has come to LOVE too all under one roof. This will be a blessing for all our local community and both Chloe and I cannot wait to see the beginning of is what's sure to be a venture worth waiting for.
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