Talking Hands Deaf Children and Young People Service in Swansea was awarded £4,940 through our National Lottery Awards for All programme. Parent, Louise Rigdon, tells us more about why she and her five year old son, Jack, started attending the group and what has happened since.
“I really don’t know where we would be if we had not been directed to the Talking Hands group. They have literally changed our lives and I cannot thank them enough to for all they have done for us! 2014 is the year that will always be imprinted on my mind. My son, Jack, then aged 5 years old, was diagnosed as Autistic in the February. I knew that this diagnosis was coming, so I wasn’t too surprised.
“However, in the July, Jack was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss, with him being profoundly deaf in his left ear, and moderately deaf in his right. One day, he will lose his hearing completely. To be totally honest, I was devastated. It was such a shock, and I literally did not know where to turn!
“I can clearly remember the day the Teacher of the Deaf told me about Talking Hands Deaf Children & Young People, and the first time we went to the Tiddlers Club. We were surrounded by like-minded families, who were not only an amazing support to Jack and myself, but also wonderful people I can now class as friends.
“Both Jack and I have benefited from the group. We are learning British Sign Language (Jack through play and meeting friends and I am having formal lessons), we have a safe environment to discuss our concerns, have support and genuinely feel “part of a community”! I now help run the Tiddlers group on a Wednesday, and hope that I offer the same support to parents that I first received.
“When you are told that your child has a difficulty, it can be the most traumatic and devastating information for a parent and the child. However, with groups such as Talking Hand Deaf Children and Young People, you can receive the support and love you need, and a listening ear of experienced families and professionals. I really don’t know where we would be if we had not been directed to this group. They have literally changed our lives and I cannot thank them enough to for all they have do for us!”