A Sutton woman has written a poem to display in play centres and schools to raise awareness about disabilities in children and the need for understanding of their additional needs.
Donna Corcoran was inspired to put pen to paper after hearing about an episode her friend’s son Jacob Brentnall was involved in at a Kirkby indoor play centre.
Jacob (6) has a rare genetic disorder called Sanfilippo Syndrome - an inherited disease of metabolism - which is life-limiting and the cause of complex developmental difficulties, many of which are not obvious to see.
It was during an outing to a play centre with his two carers that Jacob accidentally caught a little girl in the face while running around and made her cry.
The carers took her to her mum and apologised but later, after seeing Jacob in his wheelchair, the woman got angry and said she did not think he should have been there and wanted them to leave.
When Donna heard about what had happened, she wanted to do something to stop such a situation happening again and decided to write a poem called ‘Through My Big Brown Eyes’.
It expresses how Jacob sees things and emphasises the need for people to be aware of problems a child might have before reacting.
“I have never written a poem in my life before,” said Donna (37), whose daughter Sophie (17) also helped. Everyone has been really supportive and for me, it’s to get it across that none of us ever know what others might face in life. This woman may have just thought Jacob had a behavioural disorder and had no idea - that’s why I felt so strongly about it.”
Jacob’s mum and dad Hannah and Chris, of Belmont Road, Kirkby Woodhouse, have taken him to the play centre many times before without a problem and having spoken to staff there about the incident, have been reassured that he is welcome there anytime.
Said Hannah (33): “We know that Jacob doesn’t understand other children but he is not a nasty boy.
“He is a big boy, he is heavy for his age and for that reason he is supervised all the time.”
“I was really shocked that someone would act like that,” she added.
Chris (37) said: “We would like to think it’s a one-off. Our experience is that more often than not, other parents are pretty understanding.
“I can appreciate the woman being annoyed it had upset her daughter, but it was not really fair to say Jacob was not supervised and the staff shouldn’t have let him in.”
Donna has distributed the poem to play centres and schools in the area where it will be put on display for people to read.
“There will be a lot of other children out there that the poem will relate to,” said Hannah. When I think about what Jacob is going through and what he is going to go through, it’s not nice and we want people to understand better.”
nTo read the poem, visit www.chad.co.uk