SCILL- Deeside is a local charity I have mentioned before –http://www.scill-deeside.co.uk/home . I don’t apologise for mentioning them again as they are amazing.
SCILL stands for Supporting Children In Learning for Life. I think that sums up beautifully what they do. They organise local classes and events that encourage the children with additional needs to just be who they are. The great thing about it is it encompasses various different conditions, and not just specific to one.
We first came across the charity over a year ago when they were mentioned in the local NAS round-up of events. They were advertising a dance class for children in primary school. As both boys love music and boogeying to it, it was a no brainer to sign them up to it.
The classes are run at the Deeside Dance Centre – http://www.deesidedancecentre.co.uk/ in Banchory. The teacher is amazing and has total patience with the children. A teacher that can engage kids when they want to be wandering off doing their own things is an amazing teacher! There are about a dozen children in the class with different conditions, my two are the only boys! They of course enjoy being the only boys in a room full of girls! I love the idea of them mixing with kids who have a totally different range of problems to their own. The boys don’t see the problems, they just see other children out to have some fun – this is a life lesson we should maybe learn from additional needs people and be far more accepting of differences rather than using them as weapons against each other. The classes are run in 6 week blocks and they then get to do a little performance to the parents at the end of it. I would describe the dance they are doing as more music and movement. They use props such as scarves and feathers to see how they move when they do different things with them. The mirrors in the dance studio are loved by M in particular as he enjoys watching himself, and watching him perform in his own little world is lovely to see how free he looks.
SCILL though is so much more than just the dance classes. They over an immense amount of information to parents. I imagine this comes from having been founded by parents who did so because they couldn’t find the help they wanted and needed. Each month there is a coffee morning where parents can talk to each other or browse the huge array of literature available. They also have guest speakers who talk on a wide variety of issues that effect families of children with additional support needs.
Earlier in the year I attended a one day seminar about anger management. It was really interesting and I came away from the day with my head buzzing with things that needed additional thinking! Meeting so many other people who were also in a similar position to myself was also great. Sometimes what happens on the edge of a situation can be equally as important. Knowing you’re not alone is a helpful tool!
A local charity needs local support, and it is good to see the local community supporting them. Today at the dance class a pupil from the Banchory Academy (secondary school) came to speak to the parents. The school is doing a fund-raising inititive and groups of children have chosen different charities to support, one of them being SCILL. They will work on fund-raising activities and at the end of the project the team that has done the best, will be awarded a cheque for £3000 to give to their charity. So of course we are hoping the group supporting SCILL doing very well. Today, they wanted to know what SCILL had meant to our children, and none of us could praise them enough.
I think sometimes smaller charities don’t get the publicity they deserve, as they are doing work with people sometimes on a very individual and personal level. While the NAS – National Autistic Society is an amazing resource on a national level, locally they are not so active and so it is groups like SCILL that become a life line to so many of us.
Thank you SCILL for all you have done, and continue to do. My children love being able to let loose for this hour a week, in a safe controlled environment.