Dylan's story

A little boy, Dylan playing with shredded paper and a support worker

Sense never forgets that each child and their family is unique. They have their own story, their own strengths and challenges.

Take Dylan, for example. When he was born with severely restricted sight and hearing, due to a condition called CHARGE, his parents were knocked sideways. “It was heartbreaking to think about all the things he might not be able to do,” says mum Emma.

Fortunately Dylan was referred to Sense when he was just five weeks old, so he could receive the help that is so vital in the early years. “Wow, Jenny from Sense was so encouraging and a real comfort,” say Emma. “She had so much knowledge and all these lovely stories of children who had done really well.”

Smiling boy standing by tree in forest

Fast forward eight years and Dylan has made great progress in his own special way. He loves school, especially swimming, and because people have learned how to communicate with him he is much calmer and less stressed now. He’s also discovered a passion for rock climbing with support from his Sense intervenor Becky. “It’s funny,” says Emma, “because although he can’t walk he’s building his strength in his upper body. You wouldn’t believe how high he climbs – it makes you catch your breath.”

Dylan’s family have come a long way too. “Sense is a huge part of our lives now and we are regulars at the Saturday Club,” says Emma. “It’s lovely for everything from emotional support to different ideas about what their children enjoy”.

“We’ve had our dark days but now we’re in the best place,” she says. “With Dylan it’s those smaller developments that are so exciting and make you so happy.”

hands line graphic

Total communication

With some people, like Dylan, a combination of communication methods works best – from sign language to reading body signals. This is called total communication.

Helping people shine

  • Our Children’s Specialist Services assess each child’s particular needs and put together programmes that will help them to learn and develop.
  • Sense supports the whole family. We offer a wide range of activities – from family days to sibling weekends – where people can share information, take a break and get support from others in the same position.

2015-16 highlights

  • Sense was in touch with 1,238 children and young people across UK, including 178 families who contacted us for the first time.
  • We ran 34 family days, which supported over 250 children and young people.

First published: Thursday 22 December 2016
Updated: Friday 6 January 2017