''Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' is my grandson's favourite song. Since he learnt to hand-sign it last Christmas, he's been making 'antlers' all year!
Matthew has Down's Syndrome and has been going to play sessions
at Capability Scotland since he was just a few months old. He's
found learning to talk harder than most children but loves learning
to sign new songs. In fact the whole family has had fun learning
I don't know about you but before Matthew was born, I didn't
think disability affected me. Now I know it can affect any of us,
at any time. Somewhere in Scotland, another family is coming to
terms with this news right now. £30 could cover
the cost of a call to Capability Scotland's Advice Service, so they
can get the information and advice they need. Please will you
give £30 this Christmas to give them somewhere to
Disability doesn't just affect other people
When Matthew was born with Down's Syndrome, it was a complete
shock. As you might imagine it took us a while to deal with. My
daughter, Kate, fast-forwarded to his future. Would he make friends
at school, get a job, live on his own, get married, have children?
I couldn't help her. I didn't know what to expect either.
Three years on, with Capability Scotland's support, the future
looks so much brighter. Matthew's an absolute delight. He's got a
huge sense of humour and is lots and lots of fun. When Kate went
back to work, I started taking him to play sessions at Capability
Scotland myself. I enjoy going almost as much as he does! The team
are full of ideas. They know the issues that might be a problem,
and address them through play. Like lots of children with Down's
Syndrome, Matthew wasn't keen on touching new things, but thanks to
lots of sensory play, this isn't an issue for him anymore.
Capability Scotland's support has helped the whole family
Matthew used to be quite clingy. Now he barely lets me hold his
hand - he's in such a rush to join his friends. And it's not just
Matthew who's more confident. I am too. Having someone take the
time to show me how I can support him has made a big difference.
Often simple things really help - like matching games. Now we love
playing Gruffalo dominos together.
The team focus on all the things Matthew can do, not the things
he can't. Now he's doing really well and has just started at the
local school nursery. He still goes to sessions at Capability
Scotland on a Friday though, and is developing all the time.
Can you give another family the gift of a brighter future this
The first Christmas after Matthew was born the future still
seemed daunting. I didn't know what to expect, or how to help. This
year I'm really looking forward to a fun family holiday and can't
wait to see Matthew open the toy tool set I'm giving him. Hopefully
it will stop him using (and losing) my keys as they double up as
By giving £30 today, you can give someone else affected by
disability the gift of a brighter future. For someone in Scotland
it could be the best Christmas present they receive.
Elizabeth (Matthew's Gran)
PS. Disability can affect any of us, at any time. When it does,
your support makes all the difference.