The change in my son

A charity working with children under five with development disabilities, and their families, has received a Communities and Families award to help meet the demand for its services.

Speur-Ghlan Early Intervention Service works with families across the country providing individualized, play based therapy to children, including those with autism, to support their development in key areas such as communication, interaction, play and motor skills.  Today’s award of £9,960 will enable the group to run a parent training and coaching project for families in North Ayrshire.

Sandy Thompson with his son Alex
Sandy Thompson with his son Alex

One parent who will benefit from today’s grant is Sandy Thompson from Ayrshire who credits the charity for the change he has seen in his three year old son Alex.

Sandy says: “My son Alex has been attending Speur Ghlan for the past year now. Alex at eighteen months wasn’t reaching his milestones which was a very scary and worrying time, especially as we had very little knowledge of why. I read about Speur Ghlan in a national newspaper and straight away was on the phone to them.  We arranged a consultation and they assessed Alex a couple of months later. Soon he was attending a couple of times a week and had his own plan and strategies put in place specific to his needs.

“For the first time in months we, as a family, had a better understanding of how to engage with Alex and how to get his attention and build on interaction.  This was the help we had been so desperately looking for. We are now looking forward to the future as Alex continues to develop and for this I will be forever in their debt.”

Speur-Ghlan uses a range of research-based approaches, including some of the most regarded therapies such as Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), which their training course is based on.

Ruth Glynne-Owen, Founder and Chief Executive explains more:  “This grant will enable us to

'Graduates' from a recent parent training course run by Speur-Ghlan
‘Graduates’ from a parent training course run by Speur-Ghlan

support many more families to connect more effectively with their child through focused parent training and coaching, while also providing connections with other families nearby. We are the only place in Scotland that uses an approach called Pivotal Response Treatment, which has shown significantly better results for children whose parents have accessed this training versus the more generic autism training that is currently offered. This is why this project is so important to us, not only because of the support we can offer parents, but also the impact that this training will have on their child’s ongoing development. We’re delighted to receive this Communities and Families award as it will help us to make an important difference to so many lives.”

Speur-Ghlan Early Intervention Service is one of 26 groups sharing in the latest grants from the Communities and Families fund. If your group is interested in applying to this fund – supported by us and the Scottish Government – you can find out more on our website or call our BIG Advice team on 0300 123 7110 to discuss your project idea.

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