Little Hiccups provides opportunities for therapy, fun, friendship and enjoyment for children with additional needs, their brothers and sisters and parents, grandparents and carers and other supporters. Our aim is to be a fully inclusive and transparent charity.
We want to provide a safe, welcoming and fun environment for the whole family and therefore we expect that all staff, volunteers, parents, carers and children show respect, acceptance and tolerance to all who attend Little Hiccups sessions.
We encourage parents to use positive behaviour management and understand that different needs may present different behavioural challenges. We understand that behaviour is a form of communication and allow children to engage with the activities on offer however they feel comfortable, as long as they and the other people attending are safe.
Very occasionally, some sessions might not be suitable for some children. Either for a particular child on a particular day or at that particular stage of their development. We will gather information during the application process to ensure we know as much about your child’s needs as possible before a session to help us to decide with you if an activity is suitable or not. We want to support you and your children, so we will do our best to offer an alternative activity.
We will make reasonable adjustments to include all children where possible. For example, we could try to find extra staff or volunteers with relevant experience for additional support during a session. Or we could modify the experience provided in the session, on a planned future occasion, to better meet the child’s needs. In our Stay n Play sessions, we could arrange for the child to visit before the session starts so they are able to experience the environment with no other distractions around.
In extreme circumstances, we may have to admit that Little Hiccups is not the right environment for a particular child or family at that time; where this is the case, we will work with the family to find another suitable provision where possible. And of course, just because it is not right at the moment, does not mean that it will not be in the future. We will always be willing to try again.
If you feel, from the description of the experience provided by the session, and your experience of your child’s reaction to similar environments that a session would not be suitable, please let us know. We can look at the reasonable adjustments mentioned above to adapt the session to include your child or offer an alternative.
It could also become gradually evident during a session that a new environment and experience is causing a child to be distressed or to behave in a way likely to cause distress for the other children in the session. On this occasion, it might be necessary to end the child’s participation in the session. If a child’s reaction was thought to be likely to cause a risk to their own safety, or to the safety of others during the session, we might also need to
ask for the child to be withdrawn on that occasion. We would do this discreetly and respectfully.
Everyone at Little Hiccups wants to make attending Little Hiccups sessions a great experience for all the children who attend and their families. We have gained lots of experience over the years that we have been running sessions, but we really do need your expertise as parents and carers to help make this happen. So we would welcome any advice or feedback about services we offer, what we could provide in the future, and what we could try to do differently or as extra support for your child or other children with similar additional needs, to make it a better experience. It might take some time or even a bit of extra fundraising, but we will do our best to make it possible for everyone who comes to Little Hiccups to take away a great experience.