Sandwell’s Early Years team learn about Sky’s the Limit!

‘Keep Up’ was born out of a desire by young disabled people who want to tell professionals that they need to raise their game in supporting them to meet the aspirations that they have for themselves. Young disabled people want the same life opportunities as their non-disabled peers and sadly it is often the very professionals that should be enabling ‘a life’ that are the ones that limit young disabled people to a life in services!

On Thursday March 29th, Changing Our Lives worked in partnership with Sandwell’s Early Years Team to deliver a Keep Up session to professionals working with disabled children and their families at the start of their journey to explore how an ‘ordinary life’ is everybody’s right and achievable with the right support.  The session was hosted and facilitated by Early Years and delivered by Lesley Acford and Lucy Dunstan from Changing Our Lives by bringing with it equal helpings of challenge, fun and inspiring stories. The session carefully balanced the challenges of navigating a complicated system and the barriers that society place on disabled people with real life examples of the incredible achievements of many young disabled people that the Changing Our Lives team work with.

Both teams were thrilled to be joined in the afternoon by Amanda and Thomas Trainer, who were one of the families involved in the Sky’s the Limit  and Amanda spoke passionately and honestly about her son, Thomas and his journey from birth to where he is now.  “Being part of Sky’s the Limit was amazing – it was the first time someone took the time to get to know Thomas.  When Thomas was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 20 months old I went into zombie mode, I was completely exhausted. I slowly realised that it was ok to get support and tried to absorb lots of information from different professionals, but it became too much and I just couldn’t take on any more information. I have met professionals along the way who went above and beyond their job role and others who were crap!   They would tell me that he couldn’t do this and he couldn’t do that. As a parent you know what is right and what is wrong and I say, never say never! Because no one ever knows. Thomas has proven so many of them wrong and now I choose which professionals are in Thomas’ life. Through the Sky’s the Limit project we now have a personal budget and I am in the process of interviewing people to tailor the support to Thomas!”

Delegate Stacey Morris from Action for Children said, “Fantastic event with immense and important information and sharing stories of success and real life. Inspirational day, thank you!”

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