Children Attending Marlow Opportunity Playgroup
Featured here are some of the children who attend, or have attended, Marlow Opportunity Playgroup.
These are snapshots in time - age and other details are as at the time of writing.
These are extractions from the MOP community facebook page, where more children are featured.
Pippa is 4 years old and attends Playgroup twice a week.
Pippa has Down's Syndrome, or trisomy 21, which is a genetic condition that is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby's cells. In the majority of cases, Down's syndrome is not an inherited condition and rather a chance occurrence. Every individual is completely unique, but Down's syndrome typically causes some level of learning disability and certain physical characteristics. There are some health problems associated with Down's syndrome, such as heart problems and difficulties with sight and hearing, but these will not affect everyone with the condition.
Pippa has a number of additional health issues which can prevent her from attending Playgroup on a regular basis. She is nil by mouth, suffers with cluster seizures, particularly when tired or becoming unwell, and has had Nissens fundoplacation to treat Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Pippa is also on oxygen, and this will be monitored throughout the session according to her care plan. She also has care plans for her seizure treatment and her gastrostomy.
For more information on Down's syndrome, please visit www.downs-syndrome.org.uk
... we support Pippa by signing Makaton as much as possible, as she finds it difficult to communicate verbally. She will also use a 'Big Mack' switch at 'hello time' so she can say hi to all her friends. Pippa is great with switch work and consistently uses her 'more' switch in activities, will make a choice between two objects and has brilliant eye contact for 'ready steady go'. We support Pippa to stand independently from a small bench and weight bear and she is encouraged to find her own photo off the photo board in the morning to say that she is here. We also support her with fine motor skill work by using hand over hand which she works well with.
... Pippa loves to stand and will happily pull herself up to standing using staff as her support. She loves people to sing to her and enjoys a giggle when she finds something funny.
Pippa really enjoys our regular trips to Merryfields Sensory facilities, where she can enjoy the spacious ball pool, changing the lights in the ceiling and the bubble tube and playing on the sensory mat. A group visit to Merryfields costs £30.
Makaton - is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate.
Nissen's fundoplication - is an operation used to treat gastro-oesophageal reflux. It uses the top of the stomach to strengthen the sphincter so it is less likely to allow food, drink or acid to travel back into the foodpipe.
Big Mack switch - a large button that plays a message (recorded on it by the playgroup) when pressed.
Stefan, is 3 years old and comes to playgroup twice a week.
Stefan is cheeky and funny and brings a smile to everyone's face! He loves matching colours, playing with any transport toys, running around outside and playing with play doh. Stefan only started with us at the beginning of November and its been wonderful to see him blossom in confidence and sitting for 1:1 focused play as well as choosing activities for his own independent play.
Stefan is very inquisitive and loves to see what all his friends are up to at playgroup. He really enjoys our music sessions with Jo Jingles Beaconsfield & Marlow and Little Star and can often be seen dancing and joining in with all the actions! He also adores our visits from Flo, our very own therapy dog, and just loves playing with her and feeding her treats!
Stefan is autistic ... we thought we'd share this brilliant video which explains autism in a different way.
video about autism ( facebook )
Stefan is currently on the waiting list for speech therapy and doesn't yet have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), which we are in the process of applying for.
We incorporate speech and occupational therapy techniques and ideas into his play, including fine motor play with threading and mark making and speech play, through pretend play and motivating toys and books. Stefan communicates his likes and dislikes very clearly and will choose activities through some speech, gestures and our photo choosing board. We have also started using communication boards for activities such as bubbles and Stefan is starting to put two words together.
In order to provide this speech therapy and support Stefan with Makaton throughout the session, he requires 1:1 support. This costs Playgroup £27 per session.
To get funding for children like Pippa and Stefan is very time consuming and does not always cover the cost of fulfilling the child's needs. We heavily rely on fundraising and donations to provide the excellent level of support and care that we provide at Playgroup.