It’s quite early on a Sunday morning and as I sit here from a distance watching Leo play with a beautiful little girl with Downs Syndrome I feel compelled to tell the world why it’s so important for mainstream venues to offer sessions like these for children with special needs. I smile back at the grinning boy who just threw a ball pool ball at me and then go back to half keeping an eye on Leo and half relaxing with my coffee.
Children zoom by with parents just about keeping up behind them and I realise how nice it feels to be in a room with no judgement. The four story soft play centre will feel like a completely different world in about an hour when the doors open to the ‘regular kids’*. For now though, we can relax knowing that if Leo or James or Elsie or Grace… screams unnecessarily, says something inappropriate or who’s behaviour would generally result in stares of confusion, will be met with an understanding smile or more likely, nothing as we’re too busy dealing with our own child’s behaviour!
The Partyman staff were lovely and went out of their way to support the children.
Thank you Partyman Eastleigh, this is just my story but I can guarantee that there is a parent in this room who never thought they’d come to a place like this with their child or a parent who’s walked out of a place like this in tears as their child either didn’t cope or someone else didn’t cope with their child…
To add, when we left the play centre to pop into the nearby Swan Centre Shopping Centre we discovered that it was ‘Sensory Sunday’… a lovely surprise that both Leo and I appreciated! The music was quiet or off, the atmosphere was relaxed and for Leo, the best bit… the hand dryers had been switched off!