Lleu’s Successful Session

Gwynedd Council

Recently Byw’n Iach Arfon, Caernarfon has welcomed a new member! Lleu Owen is 4 years old and has just started Gymnastics with us in the centre after recently trying different after school activities. We are glad to say that Lleu has finally found what he enjoys doing the most. He has joined our weekly Gymnastic sessions since September.

Even though he is only 4, Lleu has to deal daily with high levels of anxiety which leads to him losing confidence in himself at times. Lleu’s parents support him by helping him to control his emotions and finding activities that he can truly enjoy with other children.

Lleu’s parent have learned about different ways of supporting him, including talking to him using their hands, a technique called Makaton. This is a new way of communicating without using your voice, and Lleu responds well.

Also, Lleu uses flash cards with symbols to communicate. These cards lets him choose what he wants to do and what he wants to say.

Before Lleu started his sessions, our Gymnastic Co-ordinator, David Morris arranged a chat with Lleu and his family to prepare for his first sessions. This was a chance for Lleu’s parent to suggest different ways of communicating with Lleu and ways to encourage him to take part. David received a set of communication cards and advice on how to use these with Lleu in the lessons.

Lleu needs someone to encourage him to stay on a clear path by leading him through his gymnastic classes but, it’s vital that he doesn’t feel like the instructor is making a fuss of him or making him stand out in class.

Lleu really enjoys his Gymnastic Lessons in Arfon. He looks forward to coming back and talks about the lesson all week. At home he has been demonstrating what he learns in the classes and is eager to learn more.

Lleu’s mother said: “The instructor has shown so much patience with him, the extra effort to slow thing down, even when he was staring to get antsy and hyper toward the end. They helped him to keep focus. It is a feeling of relief to see him doing so well!”

David has got to know Lleu well and has seen him develop in his Gymnastic lessons. Lleu’s parents said that they would like to see him try more sports classes, such as swimming and hope the model used during the gymnastics lessons can be replicated there.

Byw’n Iach has learned a lot through our relationship with Lleu and his family. By communicating’s clearly and making little adjustments, it is possible to give everyone a chance in the community to improve their health, well-being and developing new skills. Byw’n Iach welcoming everyone to use their facilities and services, and are ready to discuss individual needs on a one to one basis. If you have a specific question or want further advice, pleases contact the team at cyswllt@bywniach.cymru.


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