Hatfield mum praises pre-school for transforming her son’s life

PUBLISHED: 10:38 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:38 05 December 2017

Carla Segal with Joshy, four, and Ollie, two, and staff from Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo

Carla Segal with Joshy, four, and Ollie, two, and staff from Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A Hatfield mum is hoping to get her autistic son’s nursery a grant after they helped to give him “the best possible start in life”.

Little Lions managers Sarah Heywood and Jo Rochford with Carla Segal, Joshy, four, and Ollie, two. Picture: Danny Loo Little Lions managers Sarah Heywood and Jo Rochford with Carla Segal, Joshy, four, and Ollie, two. Picture: Danny Loo

Carla Segal, 32, of Roe Hill Close, said that since her son Joshy, four, started at Little Lions Preschool and Nursery in September 2016 he has become a different child.

Joshy was diagnosed with autism in October 2015, which meant he struggled to make friends and had no concept of his own and others’ emotions.

Carla said: “When he first started at the nursery he didn’t know what to do around other children. Socialising was very difficult for him.

“If a child approached him to play he would just walk away, it was really sad to see.”

Carla Segal with Joshy, four, and Ollie, two, at Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo Carla Segal with Joshy, four, and Ollie, two, at Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo

Carla enthused that thanks to the staff and their encouragement he now asks other children to play and understands emotions a lot better.

The youngster is showing signs of being well above the average academically and is reading books for the age six to seven group.

She added: “He’s a little genius. He loves books about dinosaurs and can read out their long names perfectly.

“They’ve given him the best possible start in life.”

Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo

“They have helped him beyond what they needed to. They have so much time for every single child and you can tell they just adore the children.”

To thank them for all they’ve done the mother-of-two contacted Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps to see if he could provide a grant so the nursery can create an outdoor area which the children could enjoy all year round.

Carla added: “I didn’t know how to thank them so hopefully this grant can be given.

“I also want more people to be aware that Little Lions exists because the lovely staff deserve the recognition.”

Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo Little Lions Nursery. Picture: Danny Loo

The nursery is situated inside Oxlease Methodist Church, in Woods Avenue, but often gets overlooked as banners can not be displayed permanently outside the building.

Sarah Heywood and Jo Rochford, who own and manage Little Lions, said jointly: “We are so proud of all the achievements Joshua has made and feel privileged to have been a part of his journey so far.

“He has grown from an anxious, nervous child into a happy, confident little boy who has developed his own unique and funny personality.

“He continues to thrive through his desire to learn.

Little Lions Nursery at Oxlease Methodist Church. Picture: Danny Loo Little Lions Nursery at Oxlease Methodist Church. Picture: Danny Loo

“In turn, we have learnt lots through Joshua and are grateful that he made the decision to join us.

“We have all found it extremely rewarding seeing his personal growth.”

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