I'm John [Fullbrook], I am the father of Anna Fullbrook who's 15 years old and she's been coming to RNIB Pears for about 10 years now.
I'm Anna's mum Jo. So Anna has cerebral palsy, she can't see very much, she has cortical vision impairment. She has considerable physical disabilities, particularly down the left-hand side of her body and uses a wheelchair. She has very limited communication.
When Anna first came here she was very tactile defensive. She didn't have a lot of confidence in interacting socially with other people. She was incontinent.
She couldn’t walk.
She couldn’t walk. The physio team worked very hard with Anna to help to loosen her arm and her leg on the left-hand side and she's progressed from not walking at all to being able to walk with support. There was one teacher in particular who decided that Anna should be perfectly capable of being toilet trained and she did it.
It's believing in the young people I suppose as much as anything else and thinking that they could achieve things that might have been thought unachievable for them.
I think the fact that Anna is at RNIB Pears Centre, for us as a family, means that we are, as far as possible, able to have a normal family life. We feel that Anna's educational and physical needs are met by the school. So we don’t feel that we have to be her physiotherapist or her speech and language therapist or her teacher. We can be her mum and her dad and her brother and try as far as possible just to enjoy the things that we would want to enjoy, like having holidays and going out for meals and just being together.
For more information about RNIB Pears Centre visit rnib.org.uk/pearscentre. To arrange an informal visit call us on 024 7636 9500 or email email@example.com.
RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning.