Young Dan is jumping for joy

THERE was no doubting four-year-old Dan Sheather's delight with his brand-new trampoline.

The word 'happy' followed nearly every bounce.

Dan, who lives in Bellingen, has been diagnosed with Autism.

The trampoline is an important tool in helping him learn to communicate and hearing him say this one word is magic for his parents Cindy Sheather and Jason Dean.

And it's all thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Queensland branch of Variety the Children's Charity, whose members raise funds for needy kids by going on a wide range of adventures. Last Tuesday members of the charity, who were enroute from Brisbane to the Hunter Valley in 4WDs via boutique wineries, dropped into Bellingen to meet Dan.

The suggestion that Dan be sponsored came from his teacher, Cassie Stewart, who works with SNIBS (Special Needs in Bellingen Shire).

“Dan starts school next year and he needs as much support as possible to make that big transition,” Cassie said.

“He has sensory needs and the trampoline gives him spatial awareness. These resources (Dan also received speech software) help the family a lot in supporting him at home.”

As part of Early Childhood Intervention Awareness Week, SNIBS is hosting a fun morning of kite-making tomorrow between 10am and noon at their Bellingen Playgroup at 1 Elliot Place.

Bring a plate of healthy food to share.

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