02:00PM, Thursday 12 December 2019
Photo by Leah Samuels
A new Twyford-based group which supports children on the autistic spectrum and their families has hosted a slime-making event.
Twyford Autistic Carers Together (T.A.C.T) was launched in September by Leah Samuels with the support of Sarah Charge and Hazel Maskell, all of whom have children on the autistic spectrum.
The group runs ‘stay and play’ sessions, which currently sees about 10 children attend on the first Sunday of each month from 10am to 12pm as well as a parents and carers tea and coffee session every other Friday between 1pm and 2.30pm at Twyford District Youth and Community Centre.
Leah said: “I started the group after going on various courses to enhance my own knowledge and understanding of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and noticing various parents on each course who just seemed to need that reassurance they are incredible parents.”
The 25-year-old added that the aim of the ‘stay and play’ sessions is to give youngsters a ‘safe space which is non-judgemental’ and there are ‘no expectations on any child to play in a certain way’.
She added: “For the parents [and carers] it is meeting other people, knowing they are not alone and having that support there. The SEND community is huge but when you are parenting a SEND child it can become quite isolating.”
On Sunday, December 1, the group hosted a slime-making event as part of ‘stay and play’, which saw about 15 children make various slime creations, personalising them to glow in the dark, be colour changing and even added scents they find calming.
Leah added that the slime can be used ‘as an extra sensory aid over the Christmas period’ if children are struggling.
“Christmas can be a really challenging time for some children with autism, school routine usually changes, they may have to see family that they wouldn’t normally,” she added.
“In the chaos of Christmas we kept things the same and forgo decorations.
“We created an activity whereby children could take part and take something useful away for the Christmas period without overwhelming anyone.”
For more information email tact.twyford@outlook. com or visit their Facebook group T.A.C.T Twyford Autistic Carers Together.
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