The Littles in Lockdown

 In The DS Advocate

My name is David, my wife is Kim and between us we have three crazy, unique boys named Charley, Harry and our newest edition, baby Reggie. Charley is a typical 11-year-old, constantly on his computer or phone. Harry is very different: he likes the outdoors, painting and making things. He’s our very own “Mr. Maker!”. Then we have Reggie, the star of the show. Reggie is a fun-loving, mischevious little boy who happens to have a condition called Down syndrome. Reggie loves nothing more than to climb, explore and be genuinely naughty! As I am writing this, he’s trying to climb into Harry’s guinea pig hutch.

Myself, Kim and Angela run the community group ‘Down with the Kidz: North East’. This group is for families to connect every month at a different venue, where the children with Down syndrome and their families join in activities that are now fully funded by Down with the Kidz. The three of us run charity nights and rely on sponsorship from local businesses to support the group. I set this up as I felt the North East needed it, especially in the Newcastle Upon Tyne area. I felt like it was important for families with young children with Down Syndrome to have the opportunity to meet up in our local area, without having to travel miles. We have had cookery classes and a messy play class so far and plan to do Rock pool School and host the Music Bus. We have many other ideas in the pipeline too!

The lockdown hasn’t affected us much as we are a close family and don’t mind spending time with each other. Having said that, we have had a few cross words with the children, more so now than normal. We have a big garden which has proved to be a massive bonus, as luckily the weather hasn’t been too bad. I work long hours and sometimes don’t see much of the children so I’ve enjoyed seeing them more and helping them with schoolwork. During the lockdown, we’ve been doing the Joe Wickes workout and have also discovered The Wiggles. We’ve been spending time in our garden too. The children have a trampoline which has been useful to get rid of energy! We have been homeschooling the children too for just a couple of hours a day.

Although our family life hasn’t been drastically affected by the lockdown, it has massively affected our community group as we’ve had to cancel all of our upcoming events. It is a consolation that they are paid-for so the children and families who were going to attend them won’t actually miss out on them as they will be rescheduled when the country returns to normal.

I’d like to send a message to the Down Syndrome community too: I would like to say how grateful I am to have social media friends that support us. You are all doing a great job and I hope you are all safe and well. To my closer community, I’d like to see you all at the very soonest at one of our events.

All our love. The Little Family, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

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