Florence is 4 years old and is described by her family as sparky, cheeky, engaging, joyful, excitable, intelligent and perceptive. Florence has ‘static dismyelinating disorder’ which means that the myelin sheaths in her brain are not functioning correctly which affects all of the movement messages that her brain sends to the rest of her body. Due to this, Florence has a profound physical disability and is not mobile, though she has a walker which she’s great in and a wizzybug which she drives with great glee!
At first, doctors thought Florence had ‘Global Developmental Delay’ but her teachers quickly picked up that she was a bright little button! The label of GDD has now been removed from her record. Florence’s family began early communication using their hands – offering options with each hand representing one option – followed by symbols attached onto an e-tran frame. Since then Florence has been using colour coded PODD books. She loves this and has taken to it really quickly. Florence’s school has begun to use alphabet pages to teach phonics 1:1. Her teachers have realised that Florence understands more than she is currently able to express and with some simple adaptations, resembling the set up of her PODD book, she scored on the 91st centile nationally in her British Picrture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS) assessment (compared to a score of 20th centile prior to adaptation).
Florence attends a local free school along with her two siblings and has a fabulous team working with her.