Grace is 12 years old and is my ‘Silent Angel’ as she has Rett Syndrome.
Rett Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder which means that Grace has profound and multiple physical and learning disabilities and is non verbal with hardly any communication skills. Grace will rely on others totally to meet all her needs for the rest of her life.
Grace is food motivated, likes being in a swimming pool, swinging, music, TV, looking at pictures, being read stories especially if they rhyme and adores people. She will watch what is going on around her quite intently. Her favourite people are boys and men!!! (Typical of girls and women with Rett Syndrome.)
I am lucky that Grace always enjoys going to places with or without me and even on her first visit to Cherry Trees she went off happily and did not look back at me. I hated leaving her but knew she would be well looked after which gave me tremendous peace of mind.
Grace adores Cherry Trees and gets very excited when she knows that is where she is off to.
It is a home from home, a place where Grace is well looked after by caring, enthusiastic staff and where she has great fun spending time with friends. Grace gains a lot from going to Cherry Trees; it is an extension of the family, a place where she is spoilt and thoroughly enjoys herself. Mainstream children have sleepovers with friends or stay with family and thanks to Cherry Trees Grace does not miss out as she sometimes shares a room with a classmate or another child from school or a Cherry Trees friend.
I love Grace; she brings immeasurable pleasure and I like to do things with her and take her out and about. However, life is tough and often very stressful. Cherry Trees makes a tremendous difference to me because it allows me to relax, recuperate from my caring role and gives me the opportunity to do things which are difficult to do with Grace.
I must mention the extra social events e.g. coffee mornings which are an opportunity to chat with other parents and staff plus things like the children’s Christmas party which I really appreciate being organised.
Cherry Trees enriches our lives and it is difficult to put into words my thanks to every single person at Cherry Trees for what they do and give to us both.