Ashdale Special Families connects families of children with special needs


Ashdale Special Families founders Tammy Bija, Delyse Clayden and Tash Yahya.
Ashdale Special Families founders Tammy Bija, Delyse Clayden and Tash Yahya.

Darch mother Delyse (Dee) Clayden formed Ashdale Special Families with parents Tammy Bija and Tash Yahya a year ago as somewhere they could go for education, assistance and support.

About 12 families regularly attend the fortnightly sessions and 45 more are part of the network.

“We’re not overly concerned with how many members we have, we just want to do it right,” Mrs Clayden said.

“We really want to focus on the whole family.”

She said her daughter, who has high-functioning autism, previously attended sessions aimed at improving social skills but what she learned was not understood by those outside the group.

At Ashdale Special Families, she said children with special needs and their siblings were taught using consistent terminology and principles.

“They learn how to connect with each other and have a way of communicating better with each other,” she said.

“It’s not in isolation; they can all learn at the same time.”

Mrs Clayden said parent members were very supportive of each other.

“You have company with people who don’t judge you and completely understand what you are going through,” she said.

“One of the best outcomes of our group is that parents know where to go to get help.”

She said the group was appreciative of the support provided by City of Wanneroo, which provides free use of Hainsworth Centre and space to store their equipment.

“The City of Wanneroo has been fantastic to us,” she said.

“We couldn’t run it without that.”

The group meets fortnightly on Monday afternoons.

For more information, email ashdalespecialfamilies@gmail.com.