A support group for parents of children with autism has launched a new service for younger children.
Parents Talking Asperger’s (PTA) has launched PTA Junior, a service to meet increasing demand for support for younger children between Foundation and Year Five.
PTA was founded by Karen Irvani, the mother of a then 13-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome in April 2012, and the group now supports a community of over 1,000 families.
PTA Junior will be holding its first fun night on September 15, between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, at its headquarters at The Baptist Centre in Middleton Cheney.
Fun nights will then run every other Thursday during term-time with the main fun night for older children taking place on September 8, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, also running every other Thursday.
Mrs Irvani said: “Our regular fun nights for children and young people of all ages have been really successful over the past four-and-a-half years.
“However, as PTA has grown, we’ve noted the need not just for earlier sessions for younger children but also a different set of activities in order to engage and stimulate them, according to their age.
“Our pastoral manager Reverend John Jeffs is now purchasing all of the new equipment using some of the funds very kindly donated by our private benefactors, a local couple with an autistic grandson.”
Activities will be split into four zones: creativity, activity, computing and sensory.
Mrs Irvani is due to start a degree in autism at the University of Birmingham this month to increase her knowledge.
PTA Junior leader, Lisa Bhanu, who has a four-year-old son with Asperger’s said: “For me, PTA means never having to explain or excuse my son’s behaviour – everything is accepted and no-one judges.
“We all just get each other. Come and join us for a cuppa and a chat, whilst your children play.”
PTA Junior has set up its own Facebook page which can be found at www.facebook.com/Parents-Talking-Aspergers-148427645278273.
Anyone wishing to attend the first PTA Junior fun night should contact Mrs Irvani on firstname.lastname@example.org.