How have Skylarks helped you?
I reached out to Skylarks when my child began having trouble at nursery. My child does not yet have a diagnosis but we’re starting to go through the process. It was a stressful time and both my husband and I were feeling quite overwhelmed. Having that phone call that during that time I felt like I had my arms wrapped around my child, protecting them and fighting for them, and then it was like Skylarks came along and wrapped their arms around me.
We had a lot of information already and were starting to look at what support was needed for our child. I spoke to the SEND Advisor Michaela at Skylarks who helped to confirm the information I had, the next steps and also signposted other resources. We haven’t necessarily followed the “standard” route to joining Skylarks. We’re yet to take part in any activities but the support they’ve given me has been so reassuring.
I’ve also used their phone call service, I’ve spoken to Susie a few times for support or a chat and it’s just nice to know that help is there when you need it. Skylarks help you with your journey, free from judgement, they’re there to support you and provide you with the resources you need.
I’ve signed up to their emails and enjoy seeing what services are on offer. It’s reassuring that when the future looks scary all those resources are there from Skylarks. There are activities to look forward to in years to come as we navigate through this journey, so we can provide our child with positive experiences and opportunities that will help them to develop and grow.
I know I have the resources at hand with Skylarks. My husband and I were saying the other day we need to organise a haircut for our child, usually that would fill us with dread but now we know what’s on offer with Skylarks, that there’s someone there who can provide that service and understands my child's needs is just a huge relief.
Describe how Skylarks partnering with Haymarket has positively impacted you
It’s been so important, not just as a parent of a child with additional needs but as a member of staff who is neuro-diverse. It really shows they care. Neuro-diversity is high on their agenda and they really care about making a positive difference to their employees. I think as well it’s really shown how invested everyone is in this partnership because everyone is getting involved with Skylarks. It's happening at a senior level, even if you’re not affected directly you can still get involved and be a part of Skylarks through fundraising or volunteering.
I also feel like it’s started to take away the taboo of saying, yes my child has additional needs. It’s been easier for me to talk to my colleagues about the challenges and I’ve been surprised by the number of colleagues reaching out who are also either worried or looking for support; so it has been nice to give them signposts to support like Skylarks. You realise that you’re not alone and there are lots of other people who understand.
What would you like other parents to know about Skylarks?
If you’re unsure, there’s no harm in just calling and talking to them. Getting that initial guidance. They aren’t judgemental. Even if you’re not local there’s so much available that they can just direct you towards the right kind of services. It’s just having the moral support, hearing what's on offer and getting that help and guidance of where to go next.
The best thing you can do for your child is to reach out for help. Seeking support for your child is not a bad thing as early intervention will benefit your child, and Skylarks are there fighting your corner for you.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of our members