A new playgroup for families with a child on the autistic spectrum has been set up in Bloxham.
Little Stars meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Butterfly Meadows Children’s Centre on the Tadmarton Road. It has been set up by Linda Green, whose four-year-old son Harry who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three.
She said: “I had the idea of Little Stars a while back when I was taking Harry to mainstream toddler groups. Even before his diagnosis I knew something wasn’t quite right and he was acting and behaving differently to the other children.
Sometimes becoming so distressed that I would have to make a quick exit and take him out of there. I always felt very isolated from other parents, in not being able to discuss and compare our child’s development, and also upset that Harry just wasn’t enjoying himself like all the other children seemed to be.“
Harry is one of nine Children under the Oxfordshire Autism Project and receives extra help and support from speech therapists.
Little Stars is a place where children can come along and play without the noise and overcrowding of some of the mainstream groups and where parents can talk to other parents about their experiences and swap advice on their parenting techniques.
There will be information available on how visual cards and stories can help with reducing stress and anxiety for the child, as well sensory lights, toys and games for the children to play with.
Other parents are encouraged to come along and get involved in helping bring ideas to help in the running of it. All family members are welcome.
Mrs Green added: “Butterfly Meadows have been fantastic in offering their support and their venue in allowing us to run the group. We hope to create a fun and positive environment for these very special, individual and talented children of ours and help them grow and develop and enjoy the same things and opportunities as any other child.”
The next meeting is on Tuesday from 1pm-2.30pm. For more details call Butterfly Meadows on 01295 722240.