Deborah Fox is pictured with her boys Daniel eight, and Michael who is six. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 8716-17-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24
Monday, May 7, 2012
A Brixington mum determined to supply hands-on help for her special needs and disabilities son and others like him has set a challenge that could change the youngsters’ lives.
Marpool Primary School pupil Daniel Fox, eight, suffers with developmental problems as well as joint hypermobility.
Mum Deborah, 39, of Vansittart Drive, on Sunday will take part in a gruelling self-set triathlon to raise funds for equipment to help youngsters like her son with their day-to-day lives.
Frustrated by red tape which often means children like Daniel wait months until council cash is granted for specialist school equipment, Deborah plans to swim 250 metres, cycle 20km and run five km on Sunday, May 6, at Wimborne.
She hopes her efforts will raise cash to buy equipment such as special pencil grips, cutlery sets, writing slopes, self-opening scissors, balance boards and information DVDs.
Deborah, who speaks Italian, plays the piano but has dyspraxia, Asperger’s syndrome, sensory disorder and hypermobility syndrome, said it was ‘frustrating’ knowing he could ‘do better’ at school with the correct equipment.
She said: “Daniel has waited for six months, and I know some parents who have waited up to a year to get the right tools.
“I have seen the amazing effort teachers and teaching assistants put in to support children with additional needs and how frustrating it must be to have such a difficult assessment process. I want to make a difference for these children and the only way is to cut through the red tape.”
She is also keen to raise awareness of a new monthly support group to help parents with children with special education needs.
Deborah said the Exmouth Special Education Needs and Disabilities group will give parents a focal point: “Once the school bell has rung and the children are at home, many parents I have spoken to say that they feel isolated, left out and alone.
● Wendy Pilling from The Book Rest Café above Best Books in The Parade has offered the group a place to meet every Wednesday in May and June from 9.30am. If successful the group will meet on a regular basis.
Deborah said: “I want parents to feel that there is somewhere they can go and someone they can talk to who really understands.
“It’s so important that we can talk about our unique children, share information and support one another.”