How SEN Family Saturdays transforms lives for families with ASD ~ #SmallCharityWeek

SEN Family Saturdays is a community based, parent-led project working with families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Islington. The Saturday morning sessions provide a safe space with experienced staff, where children with autism can flourish, learn and explore without feeling judged. Families can also access and share advice, information and strategies to cope with daily struggles.

Kesia’s Story

“Sharik was diagnosed with ASD age 3. Following his diagnosis he didn’t receive any direct support from the NHS and I relied on his nursery to help me navigate his sensory and speech and language needs. Once he left nursery I struggled to establish the same level of support for his needs in mainstream primary. I’m a full time working single mum and with no family close by, we rely on the community around us.

Another mother mentioned the SEN Saturday group to me as we were both struggling to find resources for our child and a place for them to socialise in inclusive spaces.

Our first time at SEN Saturdays, Sharik immediately found the soft play sensory area freeing and didn’t want to leave. The staff were kind and welcoming and their support allowed me to relax a bit for an hour.

I really appreciated the sensory workshop for parents and the home observation from the Occupational Therapist I was referred to. Sharik has lots of energy and SEN Saturdays provides him with a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment where everyone understands him. This takes pressure away from me for a few hours, and I feel supported because my son is understood.

Attending SEN Saturdays gives me headspace to think and a safe environment for Sharik to be understood and supported in the way that nurtures his nature. The Occupational Therapist support is absolutely priceless for him while we try and get continuous support in place for him at school.”

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