Mother of child affected by the closure of First Step says the loss continues to impact her son
PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 November 2020
The mother of a child affected by the closure of Hornchurch’s First Step education service has voiced frustrations over how this continues to impact her son.
Linsey Worgan, mum to three-year-old Eddie Mylroi, first spoke to the Recorder in September after the service’s closure was confirmed.
Eddie - who has a variety of conditions including cerebral palsy and brain damage - was due to return to the facility following a successful six-month stint, only for the closure to halt those plans.
But his mum hasn’t been able to find him a place at another nursery in the time since for “a variety of reasons”, including capacity issues, a lack of appropriate settings for his needs and Covid regulations surrounding the drop off and pick up of children.
This has hampered Eddie’s progress, with Linsey especially worried about her son not having hands-on physio and occupational therapy for the past nine months.
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This loss has created huge “frustration” within Eddie, which presents in the form of “increased self-harm, lashing out at family members and a constant need to rock back and forth”.
While Eddie has had a seating assessment with an occupational therapist, Linsey is frustrated that her son is yet to receive the hands-on therapy that is “sorely missed”.
She said: “Why is it that I am able to take my son to a private physio therapy centre since the end of the first lockdown, yet my son still can’t be seen by the local authority’s physio and OT team at [specialist children’s health facility] the Acorn Centre?”
When put to Havering Council, its cabinet member for education, children and families, Councillor Robert Benham, said: “We have been working with Ms Worgan and her son since they were referred to us in October 2019. We’ve been supporting the young boy at home with his education and providing his mum with specialist guidance and advice via a teacher for the visually impaired.”
However, he acknowledged that the pandemic has led to “a number of reduced services, including the therapy services provided by our health partners”.
As a result, Linsey has been forced to invest in private physio sessions and a walking frame to help Eddie, who she believes “faces the prospect of no educational and therapeutic input for 12 months” without her intervention.
To donate toward these costs, visit treeofhope.org.uk/eddie-mylroi.
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