THE parents of a child with special needs in Whitby are calling for more help for him and other youngsters across the district.
Dean Devonport (21) and his partner Amy (22) from North Road have been fighting for speech and language therapy for their son Charlie (3) who has global development delay.
Despite Charlie being referred to a speech therapist, they have been waiting a year for an appointment and with Charlie due to start primary school in September and having a very limited vocabulary, they are concerned that despite their own efforts, he will struggle to cope.
Amy, who is an ambassador for I CAN which helps children with communication skills, and her partner who works at The Bay Hotel have grown so frustrated with the lack of support for children with additional needs, they have started their own Facebook page called Words for Words where parents can talk and share advice with each other.
Dean also plans to write a book of poems for children which he hopes to sell with the proceeds going to a charitable foundation he wants to set up to help others.
Amy, who is also mum to Poppy (seven months) said: “Cut backs are what are causing the long wait. “We feel he should have been seen a lot sooner. I don’t think there is enough help, especially in this area.
“The reason we started the Facebook group is because of our son. He is an absolute inspiration.”
A spokesperson for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who run children’s speech and language services for Whitby said anyone worried about their pre-school child’s speech and language can visit one of their informal drop-in sessions held around the area and from there, children may be referred into the mainstream speech and language therapy service for a full assessment.
People can join the Words for Words group on Facebook or email Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org