Sean McCafferty’s mum Anne wants her 23 -year old son to have at least some of the things that most men of his age take for granted; like friends at his birthday party, Christmas outings, dressing up and going out at Halloween.
But her son hasn’t had any of these things as yet, as Sean who is at the severe end of the autistic spectrum needs 24 hour, one to one care and has been with his family solely, since he left school when he was 13.
Sean experienced a great deal of difficulty with school and became so distressed at the thought of going that mum Anne decided to give up her job as a primary school teacher and care for him herself at home.
“Sean is a blessing to us, we’ve never seen him as anything else,” said Anne.
“He needs one to one care and will do for the rest of his life.
“What I want to achieve with this group is that men and women like Sean, or with physical disabilities have somewhere to go and people to meet with for social occasions.
“Sean is a gentle giant.
“He’s a dote. He’s very well known around the town in the restaurants and cafes and he goes everywhere with us but we want something a little bit more for him at this stage.
“We feel that he deserves it and this year when we were told that there would be no day care placement due to lack of funding we thought that we had to go public about this and the lack of options for people with disabilities like Sean.
“At the lower and middle end of the spectrum there’s a lot of groups and societies catering for those needs but this group, which I hope will complement those already in existence, will aim to cater for adults like Sean, who will always need that one to one care.
“I feel sad that some of the adults with learning difficulties who I’ve come across feel that they have to apologise for themselves all the time. I don’t want that for Sean.
“The first stage of this is to hold a meeting which will take place on August 31 at 7pm in the Foyle Arena.
“I hope that people reading this who identify with caring for people who have complex needs whether that is, social, physical or intellectual can come along and meet with us.
“We have more plans in the pipeline but this meeting will be a good start.”
For more information ring Anne McCafferty or Carmel Craig on 71 266722.