Shari is 14 years old and lives with her mom and dad in London, UK.
Shari has Down syndrome, autism, and associated learning difficulties.
Shari made overall developmental progress in recent years based on activities she does at home, working in conjunction with her school teachers. Shari attends a special school 6 miles from home and is transported by her parents on a daily basis.
In the home, we use the Pocket Learner Educational Development system to enable her to build her vocabulary, learn to read and count. This is a flexible system that can be tailored and used effectively to cater to individual learning needs. She uses it several times per week alongside other material and play resources. Earlier this year Shari was one of 10 students in her school who was a recipient of the Jack Petchey award for young people who are outstanding achievers. Here you see a photo of her in uniform holding the award.
Shari is a happy child; she loves to listen to music and sing along. She has a particular aptitude for learning songs and she is quite rhythmic. She also enjoys going for walks in the park, trampolining and she is learning to swim.
The family has membership with a local parent organisation called Let Us Communicate (LUC) which is very instrumental in providing information regarding support and training for families of children with special educational needs. We have a social worker who is very proactive in sharing information regarding available services. Shari also receives support from a care agency called Gordon Care Services through an approved care package.
A key service that has not been accessible is speech therapy. Her school includes language support in her lessons but specialist speech and language therapy would make a big difference, especially as Shari is an only child. However, we are grateful for the resources and services we access here in London and as a family, we do our part in assisting other families who are caring for children with special educational needs.
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