Kindred: Making a difference for Max and his family Max is four years old and has Dystonic Cerebral Palsy, which causes him severe motor problems, developmental delay and significant hearing impairment. He wears a hearing aid and cochlear implant and has limited, one word speech. Max communicates by using pointing and symbols, and he understands basic sign supported English. He is a bright, fun-loving little boy and is cognitively able. Max lives with his mum, dad and his twin sister. His parents both work and do their very best to help him achieve his potential. Max really enjoys being in nursery with his peers. He cannot walk or sit up independently so, to play, Max rolls on the floor as he can more easily hold a toy and interact in this position. When Max was just two, Kindred worked with his family to access funds to help pay for a programme of regular therapy sessions at an independent facility (The Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments, based at the Craighalbert centre). This was something that the family had unsuccessfully tried to access through their local Health and Social Care Partnership. Max’s parents responded by doing fundraising themselves, generating enough to cover the costs of the first term. Kindred succeeded in sourcing additional funding from two charitable trusts, which covered Max’s therapy for the rest of the school year. Max’s mum saw the huge difference that this therapy made to him: “Craighalbert supported Max to build fine and motor skills and social peer skills, he . . . can hold his favourite toy cars due to Craighalbert and learned to play with peers. To me as a mum seeing my son having the ability to have the option of free play and hold his toys himself was magical. It’s the simple things that matter. For Max to play makes him happy and smile and as a family has helped us build positive attachments and recognition that we focus on what he can – not what he can’t.” The following year, Max’s parents sought Kindred’s assistance for a course of therapy to help him develop further. Max had been assessed as being suitable to benefit from hippotherapy, which is a specialised form of physiotherapy that takes place on horseback. This not only provides additional sensory stimulation for Max but is something he really enjoys. The therapy is delivered in blocks of ten goal-oriented sessions at a cost of £680 and is excellent for improving core strength. It is not currently available to all children on the NHS, and would be financially out of reach for many families. Kindred was able to approach a funder who agreed to cover the whole block for Max. “Max loves his hippotherapy – he has fun, it’s a hobby, and does not even know it’s helping him build core strength. Max can even shout Flynn his horse’s name. He can’t stop smiling as soon as we arrive …” Thank you to Max and family who gave us permission to share their story, current in July 2016. “Kindred have been an amazing support, staff understand, are supportive and really listen to our needs and have supported our son to access resources that we as a family could not fund . . . we only had barriers until Kindred helped us get funding. They helped Max achieve his full potential and more crucially have fun experiences in life he would not have been able to access.” Max’s Mum.