St Albans mum building new Lego club for families affected by autism
A mother whose autistic son struggled with out of school activities has started a Lego club with hopes of expanding it across the area.
Gayeanna Allcock, a mum of two from St Stephen’s, St Albans, has set up a Saturday Lego club for children with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome after she found her son James, nine, was struggling with mainstream activities.
Gayeanna said: “I was so sick of my son not wanting to do anything. It was hard to see him with his face in screens rather than going out and doing things. He would interact with people at school during the day, but when it came to weekends or after school, he would resort to looking at a screen. I found it really hard encouraging him.
“I decided to set up a Lego club on Saturdays for myself and other parents with autistic children.”
People from across the district came together to donate Lego to the club with a hefty donation from Lego also added to the pile. An anonymous sponsor paid for Gayeanna to hire out Fleetville Community Centre, where the club will be hosted for the next few months.
One parent who attended the club with their child on Saturday, said: “We had such a magical experience with you all today. Gaye has done the most fantastic thing in bringing this idea to life.
“To watch the children work on their constructions alone and within half an hour hear laughter, see eye contact between them and even collaboration and friendship between those who, at first, looked so far from the possibility of it, actually made me quite emotional.”
Gayeanna added: “The response has been overwhelming, knowing that so many people were in the same position. We had 17 people turn up to the first session, and I never thought it would be that popular.”
The month-long success of the club has sparked hopes of expanding across the county, and Gayeanna is keen to see this happen.
She added: “I want to make this a permanent club and we have set up a community charity that can do this specifically across the Herts area.”
On November 12 at 8pm there will be a meeting at Fleetville Community centre for those who would like to get involved with the charity, now named ‘Social Club’.
For more information, search for the Facebook page: Lego Club for children with Autism / Aspergers.