Who Are We?
Margaret Rustici - General Manager.†
Margaret joined Coping with CHAOS as General Manager in November 2011 after many years working as Manager of Smithers respite care home. †
Play Opportunities Manager
My first experience of CHAOS was attending a Play Opportunity as a worried parent new to Dorset with my young daughter and disabled son. I remember being made to feel very welcome, I met some parents in a similar situation to mine and I soon came back for more!
A couple of years later I volunteered to help raise funds for CHAOS and I have been employed part time now since 2006 as a fundraiser, where I mainly do statutory and grant fundraising work. †
As I can clearly recall how scared and alone I felt when my son was first diagnosed, I think CHAOSí support services are an integral part of any local familyís caring for a disabled child coping strategy and adjustment process. ††††
I have experienced autism on the severe end of the spectrum, challenging behaviour and speech and sensory impairment. I believe itís vital to enable communication, whether thatís between parents benefitting from a support network or facilitating young people struggling with impairments to achieve their right to meaningful expression.†††
Face 2 Face Co-Ordinator
Hello, I have been the Face2Face Coordinator since 2002. Initially I worked from home, before joining the CHAOS team in January 2010. In the past I was a volunteer for Contact a Family for 11 years, and I believe passionately that some of the best support available for parents is that given by other parents who have been, or are going through a similar situation.
As well as Face2Face I have just set up the toy/book library and am looking forward to developing a Resource room for CHAOS families.Having access to information and sign-posting can make a big difference to parents when it comes to making the right choices for themselves and their families.
I am Mum to three children, the eldest of whom has a physical and a learning disability.
I have been involved with Coping with CHAOS since 2005, to begin with as a parent and volunteer before my present position in the office, where I am responsible for providing general admin support.
I feel strongly that the unique services CHAOS provides are vitally important to help relieve the stress and isolation that having a disabled child can bring to all family members.
I have a life time of personal experience as a sibling growing up with an older brother with autism, challenging behaviour and learning difficulties and now with my own son, who has high functioning autism and scoliosis.