Jenny & Stephen

3-year-old Stephen has complex needs and had a tracheotomy fitted in his throat to help him breath. This made it hard for him to communicate and his mum was too scared to leave him with anyone else.

Jenny says, "Initially it was really hard when Stephen first had his tracheotomy put in, as he couldn’t talk at all. I used to sometimes think I might never be able to hear his voice. Due to his needs being so complex, I never really left the house. I was just so bogged down trying to understand how to use all his equipment and how he needed to take his medication."

"Sometimes it used to get really hard at home because Stephen would try and communicate with me, and I would have to try and guess what he wanted. It was really frustrating for him but for me it was really sad that he couldn't tell me what he wanted.”

Jenny got an Action for Children support worker and started taking Stephen to a children’s centre where he’s getting help with speech and language, as well as having fun play sessions at a sensory group and now they can communicate well. 

At the centre we do the signing together and it’s really helped Stephen’s development and our communication.
Jenny, Stephen's mum.

“Stephen had sensory issues – he didn’t like his hands getting messy. But after coming to the centre and watching the other children play, gradually he’s started to get involved in messy play. What’s really surprised me is that he likes to do the gardening with me. I get so excited to see him join in with me. For me, it’s huge progress.”

Stephen looks forward to going to the centre every week and has really come out of his shell. His mum has benefitted from the support of parents of children who have similar needs to her son and she now feels confident enough to send him to nursery.

"The support from the centre has really given me the confidence to go out and meet other people. The thought of sending Stephen to nursery used to make me feel anxious, but with the help of the centre I feel a lot more confident about sending him to nursery.”

My life has completely changed and we both feel really comfortable. I don’t know what I would do without the support from this centre.
Jenny, Stephen's mum.
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