A grateful mum from Mansfield has lavished praise on a service that has been given a £372,000 funding boost by county councillors.
Small Steps, based in Nottingham, supports families with children who have autism or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
It offers workshops, parenting programmes, drop-in sessions and one-to-one advice, as well as an information and support line.
Michelle Taylor was referred to Small Steps by her paediatrician because two of her three children have a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder, and the other for ADHD.
She received one-to-one support from a family worker, and the family also benefited from a workshop and other training courses to help manage the children’s behaviour and lifestyles.
She was so impressed with the service she received that she now volunteers for Small Steps herself and offers befriending support and advice to other families in similar situations.
Michelle said: “I found the service really informative and helpful. We’ve had lots of support, including help with school, behaviour, sleep and toilet training.
“I have also received training in non-violence resistance and autism. My confidence is growing and I do things without doubting myself now.
“Sometimes parents need to talk to someone who knows what it’s like living day to day with a child that has these types of need. It’s great to get something back from volunteering, and it makes you feel good.”
Small Steps, which is provided by Notts Healthcare Trust, has been given its funding by Nottinghamshire County Council.
Coun Tony Harper, the council’s chair of adult care and public health committee, said: “This service helps families have the knowledge and skills to manage concerning behaviours in the home.
“We have had some excellent feedback about the results so far, so I am delighted that we can offer this additional funding.”
Families need to be referred to Small Steps through a health professional, such as a paediatrician or social care worker.