Our sons Shadi (9) and Kareem (6) are the inspiration for our social enterprise; Caterpillar Care.

As most caregivers know, bringing up two energetic boys is quite a challenge! In our case, we had an extra challenge. Kareem was born with Down’s syndrome. He is a super little boy who is constantly making wonderful progress both at home and at school, and bringing joy and excitement to our family and friends every day.

This progress doesn’t come easily. Rather, it’s the product of a great deal of patience, perseverance and support from lots of different people in Kareem’s life. Not only does he need people who understand him, but we, as carers, need people to understand us. His brother, Shadi, needs to spend quality time with his Dad and with me on our own, without being worried about Kareem. It is also important for Shadi to be involved with Kareem’s progress and to understand what he can and can’t do.

However, in spite of the very welcome assistance I received from family and friends, there were moments when I felt very tired and I desperately needed outside support.

I found that this very particular support that I needed didn’t exist. I couldn’t simply leave Kareem with a child-minder; I needed a specialised care provider. I needed someone who would understand Kareem’s needs; knew how to manage and appreciate his challenges and to celebrate and support his achievements. I needed the support on an ad hoc basis, with someone who could give Kareem the attention and support he needed.

It was during one of those difficult moments that I felt motivated to create Caterpillar Care. The name was inspired by the idea of a caterpillar flourishing into a beautiful butterfly, and is a visualization of what we want to do, supporting children and families to achieve their potential.

Everybody needs a moment to catch their breath, gather their strength and recharge their batteries. Our experience with Kareem and Shadi has given us an empathy and understanding that will keep us focused and supportive, and give you this moment. My own experience is a combination of motherhood, medical training as well as specialised training for Caterpillar Care. The Caterpillar Care staff have relevant professional and personal experience, and I ensure that they receive specialised training to provide the best evidence-based care. We, as the Caterpillar Care team, are determined to provide the appropriate help and support for families and carers of children with special needs.

All of our children are special, but some of our special children need special support. At Caterpillar Care we provide that needed support and care for you and yours.

© 2016 Oxford-Meena Ltd

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