Ciaran spending time in the garden.Ciaran’s Story

Ciaran is eleven years old and has Down’s syndrome, is Diabetic, has ASD, ADHD and is Coeliac.

Terri and Andrew have two children and live in the local area. Having a child with a disability was a total shock to Terri and she felt isolated.

Through a local charity, Terri met another mum with a child with Down’s Syndrome and together they created a new playgroup called “Little Buddies” in Dartford. This family playgroup has a focus on fun play and socialization for children with severe and complex needs and is now a service offered under Beams. From there she found out about We Are Beams and now Ciaran has access to our services to support both him and the family.

Ciaran’s disabilities affect him in many ways. He finds it difficult to socialise and make friends with other children and struggles to cope in busy environments. His diet must be closely managed as he is diabetic and has Coeliac Disease. Coeliac disease is a condition where his immune system attacks his own tissues and damages his gut, stopping his body from absorbing nutrients.

Ciaran’s blood sugar levels need to be monitored all day and he will receive an insulin injection several times a day to control his diabetes, a condition that could result in Ciaran going into a coma if it is not properly managed. Ciaran is unable to manage his diet or diabetes himself due to his severe and complex learning difficulties and requires 1-1 care. This can put quite a strain onto the family as their whole focus is on Ciaran. Terri decided she needed extra help so came to Beams.

We Are Beams offers Ciaran overnight respite 1-1 care at our Dragon’s Retreat, holiday playschemes, family support and a Direct Payment Service.

Terri said “I don’t know where our family would be now without the support and advice offered by the team at Beams. I can’t thank them enough”.

Terri is one of the group leaders for the Little Buddies Club organising day trips out for the whole family and regular themed gatherings and has joined the board of Trustees at Beams.

Terri has also donated to our Garden Appeal –Plant a Smile as she feels strongly that disabled children need outside playtime in a stimulating environment. She said “The vision for the new Garden is impressive and it will improve the children’s health and wellbeing as well as providing a safe and fun place to play and make friends”. 

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