From 28th October we are asking everyone to #makeamess to highlight the lack of support available to children with additional needs.
As we continue into the latest lockdown, we wanted to shine a light on the difficulties faced by families of children with additional needs on a daily basis. A recent study has shown that due to Covid restrictions, parents of children with additional needs are reporting a further loss in abilities and skills. Additionally, children are showing a decline in social skills and motivation to engage in activities.
We are making a mess to bring awareness to the gap in services that already exists in Ireland and the undue delays in both assessment and early intervention. Children in Ireland have been known to wait up to 3 years for these services despite legislation confirming all assessments must be commenced within 3 months.
We would also like to shed light on how Covid-19 has further stalled fundamental services directly affecting children’s wellbeing. In the National Framework for Children and Young People it states “Our vision
is to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to grow up in and raise a family, and where the rights of all children and young people are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and in the future”.
With this in mind, Twigs have created a service that intertwines those key concepts and recognises the importance of filling the gap in order to maintain the well-being of autistic children in Ireland. The potential impacts of delayed assessments and appropriate services and follow on support such as education, after school, psychology, OT, Speech & Language, on a child’s development are alarming and conversely the benefits of direct support are wide-ranging.
We are now calling on the relevant authorities to make available more subsidiaries into the private sector to help maintain the backlog in the public sector and provide the highest quality care for the Irish youth.
Why Messy Play….
We wanted to make our campaign a person-centred campaign highlighting the incredible children that the non-compliance of these legislations are affecting.
Messy Play is a chance for children to fulfil their sensory needs through different colours, textures and consistencies. It is an activity centred around alleviating control to the child, allowing them to mix, measure, touch and make a mess while creating independence and improving communication. Play is one of the easiest ways for a child to learn about their surroundings and develop fundamental life skills.
Through Sensory Play children can develop language skills, fine and gross motor skills, social skills, and self-control. Furthermore, sensory activities can have a calming effect on children and are particularly helpful for children with autism. Sensory play is essential for kids to learn how their bodies work, and how to process and interpret the world around them.
How can you help….
Firstly, share and use your voice…
Grab something messy –it can be absolutely anything!!!! Let your child #makeamess and HAVE FUN!
Record or take a picture and nominate 3 friends to do the same using #makeamess Let’s blow up social media with children being children and spread some positivity and awareness.
Contact your local public representatives and media outlets to ensure the voice of children with additional needs is heard.
Jess & Lydia