Afasic is a specialist UK charity representing children and young people with speech, language and communication disorders, working for their inclusion in society and supporting their parents and carers.
The charity was established in 1968 and is delighted to be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018. It was set up by speech and language therapist Margaret Greene after meeting a small boy who could not speak and who threw terrible temper tantrums out of frustration. There were no diagnostic facilities and many children were being sent to schools for the educationally subnormal. Margaret decided that she would start an association for the parents of these children as they were bewildered, widespread and without any support.
Over the past 50 years, Afasic has provided help and support to many, many thousands of families affected by this hidden disability that couldn’t get the help they needed anywhere else. An average of at least two children per school class are affected but parents often find it hard to get the information and help they need. They have to fight to get the support their child requires.
Afasic has enabled parents to acquire the knowledge they need to support and advocate for their child through training events, its national parents’ helpline service as well as a publications and online resources. In addition the charity has recently developed a free app for parents.
The charity has also trained many thousands of professionals so that they can better support children affected, established the first in-service training course for teachers and a post graduate distant taught course.
Afasic has developed many specialist projects for children and young people affected, including youth clubs, fun activity days, residential experiences, primary to secondary transition courses, self –advocacy and social skills courses. These aim to reduce the social isolation they so often face and develop their communication, social life and independence skills so that they can take an active role in society.
“My son (now 23) experienced speech and language difficulties from birth. When all his peers were starting to understand what was being said to them and starting to talk, my son didn’t understand or say anything. My family were at a loss of how to support him and Afasic were wonderful in understanding what we were experiencing and giving us the information we needed to support him in the best way. His speech and language are now excellent!” Anna.
To mark its Anniversary Afasic held a celebratory Christmas Concert in the Wren church of St Andrew in London in the presence of their Patron, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, and with internationally renowned actor Sir Derek Jacobi doing a reading. A special 50 mile bike ride is being held on 19th May 2018 and Afasic has a team of runners in the London Marathon.
If you would like to learn more about Afasic and their work call their Helpline, 0300 666 9410. E-mail: [email protected] Visit: www.afasic.org.uk