Diverse Abilities

Free Club for Children with Disabilities

Langside School, a special school for children between two and 19 located in Poole, launched the Caterpillar Club last year with the aim of providing pre-schoolers with disabilities an opportunity for free, fun and friendly play. Nearly a year later, the Caterpillar Club continues to do exactly that and opens its doors every Monday morning from 10am – 11.30am for children across Dorset and Hampshire.

As well as music, art, sensory toys and an interactive smart board touch screen to aid those with disabilities, the Caterpillar Club also provides opportunities for families as a whole. Parents can meet others who have children with varying disabilities, talk to the trained teachers at Langside and meet with the multi-disciplinary team of physiotherapists, nurses and occupational and speech therapists for any advice or guidance.

The Caterpillar Club also welcomes siblings and provides the opportunity for all the family to play together. Debbie Hilbourne-Rose, mum to Arabella, said: “As well as going to Langside five days a week, Arabella attends the Caterpillar Club, which gives parents with disabled children the chance to get together, as well as a place for the child to meet friends and play. Another benefit of the club is siblings can go along.

“Arabella’s twin brother regularly attends and he loves it as much as her. It is also helpful to be able to speak to the trained teachers at Langside and meet with the multi-disciplinary team of physiotherapists, nurses and occupational and speech therapists for any advice or guidance.”

The free club is organised by Lynda Larke, a qualified teacher at Langside School. She said: “The idea is for children to have fun but also for parents to see how their children respond to a stimulating environment. Parents can learn about the equipment we use and the various educational techniques we employ to help children to develop their skills. Parents who have attended so far have also appreciated the guidance we can offer about how to access support in the community.”

To enquire regarding the Caterpillar Club sessions please contact Joan Skinner at Langside School on 01202 518635 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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