Family Stories and Case Studies

Family Stories and Case Studies

Being the parent or carer of a disabled child can be rewarding, challenging, exhausting, difficult, overwhelming, complicated all in one day. Here some parents - Sonia, Christine, Victoria, Carol and Linda - tell us how things are for them and their families.

We also hear from Taylor who is 14 and has cerebral palsy quadriplegia about the challenges of getting out and about and finding places to socialise.

Carol's Story

Carol's Story

Find out all you can, talk to other parents

Carol lives near Corby with her husband and two children, the eldest, Sabrina has hydrocephalus or more commonly known as “water on the brain” and as a result requires extensive care.  Sabrina attended Isebrook school in Kettering until she was 18.

Sabrina has never been able to walk properly and finds balance difficult,  from the age of six she started to fall over for no apparent reason, no diagnosis was found, so outside of home Sabrina relies on her wheelchair for mobility.

Carol supports Sabrina with all her personal hygiene etc., and during her early years did not have any support from social care,  she feels that she should have been advised to seek support when Sabrina was younger , but as Sabrina has grown she realises that she needs help and it can not always be mum.

Sabrina attended Tresham College Kettering one day a week during the last two years at Isebrook, as well as doing a day a week at the Sweet Shop in Kettering, which is owned by Wren Spinney School. 

To make the decision on what to do after school, Sabrina had an interview at Moulton College and attended for a day trial.  The course that was recommended involved horticulture which Sabrina loved, and working with animals which Sabrina hated, so she quickly dismissed this move.  She said that she did not enjoy the time she had spent at Tresham, so she did not want to return full time.

Therefore as a family unit we analysed what Sabrina was good at,  the sweet shop said she was great with the customer’s and very sociable, they also said to could go in once a week as a volunteer with support.  Sabrina also loved playing with beads, so we asked her if she made some bracelets and sold them we could set her up with her own small business.

With support Sabrina attended a entrepreneur course over a two day period, which was aimed at young people with special needs, this explained to her about having a company name, and a plan of action, and how to cost things.  During this course she came up with the name Sabrina Sparkles and her business was born.

Sabrina has now left school, she has a personal budget, which covers her PA’s for 3 days a week. This enables her to go to the sweet shop one day a week, she also goes to Pemberton Leisure centre in Rushden one day a week, to attend an activity session and she also accesses the gym, this has helped with her mobility. The other day with the PA’s is taken up with different things, e.g. swimming, meeting friends for meals, or working on her jewellery. 

Sabrina loves telling people about her business, she is proud of what she has achieved.  She now also sits on the Learning Partnership Disability Board, and the Keep Safe board, she goes around the county promoting keep safe and hate crime. She also sits on the consumer group for transitions.

She is also proud because this year she has won three trophies,

  • The award for personal achievement
  • The award for champion for vulnerable young people
  • And the Anne Frank award (which she won with the two other young people on the keep safe board).
I have found life with Sabrina to be immensely rewarding. It has opened my eyes to a different society and I have become so much more involved in fighting the cause for young people with special needs.  I was not aware of the challenges they had before Sabrina was born and now I want to help.

Carol's Story..

"My advice to parents of children with special needs, is find out all you can, talk to other parents, that have experienced your difficulties. Always remember that your young person is entitled to a life, and they want to have choices, make yourself aware of all the choices you can give them."

Carol's Story.. Northants Parent Forum Group Family Stories and Case Studies

Sonia's Story...

Sonia's Story...

I got involved because I wanted to 'shake up' services ..Read Sonia's Story here

Christine's Story...

Christine's Story...

Being involved in parent participation forums makes me fell more confident that parents' views are listened to ..Read Christine's Story here

Victoria's Story...

Victoria's Story...

Don’t be scared to ask for help like I was ..Read Victoria's Story here

Tom's Story...

Tom's Story...

Some people just seem to know! ..Read Tom's Story here

Carol's Story

Carol's Story

Find out all you can, talk to other parents ..Read Carol's Story here

Sheila's Story...

Sheila's Story...

We remain positive and hopeful. Perhaps someday soon there will be more support ..Read Sheila's Story here

Olivia's Story...

Olivia's Story...

I am just a parent like you ..Read Olivia's Story here

Family Stories and Case Studies

Achieving Positive Change through Effective Participation and Collaboration

If you would like to tell your family story here or would be happy for your story to be used please contact us.

Carol's Story.. Northants Parent Forum Group Family Stories and Case Studies

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