A mother left shocked after she was told her son with down’s syndrome could not play on trampolines.
George Dodsworth, six, was told he was not allowed to play with two of his siblings at Flip Out in Chatham, Kent.
Gemma said: ”It was only when we were going through to take our shoes off, one of the staff members stopped me and George and said, ”I’m so sorry, I don’t know if you’ve read the signs on the wall, but George can’t go in because he’s got Down’s Syndrome.”
The mother added: ”It just really hit me. I’m a very positive person, I’ve only ever had anything but positivity with George but it was the first time I’ve had anything negative that I’ve come across.”
”It was just such a shock to hear someone say that because he has Down’s Syndrome he couldn’t do something. I’ve always been the type to push him to do everything as normal and typical like my other children. I’ve brought them up the same. It was hard. I was very emotional.”
Gemma said they gave her refund and said the worker was guilty at telling her she could not take George onto the trampolines. She said: ”She (the worker) was nearly tearful herself. She felt so guilty having to do it. She said, “my hands are tied, I’m so sorry.”
”She even refunded us our tickets and said please bring him back next time once he’s had a thorough examination from a doctor and a doctor’s note and we can give him free tickets next time. So, I can’t fault the way that they handled it, it was just a shock.”
She added: ”I wouldn’t let him jump if I thought he was in any danger. He spends his whole summer on the trampoline in the garden. I can’t get him off it. ‘And it’s meant to be good for people with Down’s Syndrome because it improves their muscle tone.”
”When he was younger, I was told to promote trampolining because it helps his muscle tone and to strengthen. I think as a parent that should be under my discretion and I feel he’s safe to jump.”
Flip Out spoke about the situation on Facebook saying: ”The British Gymnastics Association (the National Governing Body for Trampolining and Gymnastics) has released guidelines for customers with Down’s Syndrome.
It is possible that certain customers with Down’s Syndrome may also have Atlanto-Axial Instability (Instability within the vertebrae in the neck) and as such to ensure their safety, customers with Down’s Syndrome and neck instability will be asked to obtain evidence from a GP or Paediatrician that they have been screened, using the screening test developed by the British Gymnastics Association for Atlanto-Axial Instability.
”We welcome people of all ages and disabilities and certainly don’t discriminate. We put everyone’s health and safety before anything to ensure the arena is safe for all participants.”
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