A little Independence

Sara Stythe by Sara Stythe Additional Needs

Sara Stythe

Sara Stythe

By sharing our experiences of what it is like raising a child with special needs people can understand our little people a bit better. Hopefully th...

It’s a Saturday morning and an excited Isla waits patiently for a black van to pull into our driveway.

She lets out an excited squeal and rushes to take her seat in the van next to her best friend Samantha.

They soon set off on their morning adventure with their carers Maddie and Ruby.

These outings have become common place each weekend and are a great way for the girls to get a little independence.

They are quickly progressing towards becoming teenagers so it's nice for them to experience a little of what their neuro-typical peers might be doing at this stage.

Hanging out with their mates without their parents around.

Each week the girls discover somewhere new such as the museum, tenpin bowling and recently a trip to Devonport.

Their outings had to be reined in a little with the latest Covid outbreak here in New Zealand.

They avoided  trips on public transport for a while as the girls wouldn't tolerate masks.

There have been lots of picnics and fish and chips on the beach but for our girls the trip in the van would have been just as exciting as the destination.

Samantha and Isla have been best friends since Isla joined the satellite class at the local primary school when she was 5.

They have a special connection and even though Samantha is non verbal, they have no problems communicating.

They share the same sense of humour and they just love being together which is helped by Sammy's easy going nature.

Isla struggles a little with friendships and we tend to avoid playdates and having to deal with the inevitable conflict that arises due to Isla's rigid ways.

Isla finds friendships a little easier with adults as the rules are more defined and there is more flexibility.

When asking Isla what she loves about her trips out she says "the treats of course"!!! but also adds the laughing.

She says that she loves Sammy because she knows her and she's always by her side when she needs her.

We have been lucky to have had some lovely young ladies help us take care of Isla.

They all bring something different and teach Isla new skills. It also gives us some respite for a few hours per week

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