PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY SHOW
14th, 15th & 16th August 2018
Tears of joy for mum at Society's fun day
Macsen goes home with happy memories
Mum Meg George was left in tears of joy, thanks to her son's experience at the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society's annual fun day.
Meg's five-year-old son Macsen has been diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), which affects his social interaction, communication and behaviour.
Meg, of Milford Haven, said: "His condition affects him severely. He really struggles socially, he doesn't like crowds, new places, loud noises and he's also very self-conscious.
"It's tough for us as a family and impacts on us all, including his 10-year-old sister Emmie.
"He suffers from very bad anxiety and is often living in his own little bubble, unaware of what's going on around him."
A trip to the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society's fun day, held at the county showground on May 16, was proving a challenge for Macsen.
Despite wearing his ear defenders and with the support of his mum, Macsen was becoming very anxious with the crowds, noise and new experiences. He had to go and sit in the car several times to stay calm and regain his confidence.
But one stand caught his eye and gave his mum a moment she will never forget.
Pembrokeshire College Animal Management students were running a small animals display, where the children could meet guinea pigs and rabbits. Macsen was immediately drawn to one guinea pig and sat down on a bale to watch it. After about 20 minutes watching it and asking questions, he held the guinea pig on his knee and stayed with it for another 45 minutes.
His mum was incredulous and said as soon as he was handed the guinea pig she saw his whole body relax and saw the delight in his face.
"He never sits still, he's always getting up and down, and can't concentrate for more than 10 minutes at a time normally," said Meg.
"While he was with the guinea pig he didn't have his ear defenders on, but the loud noises and the crowds didn't bother him at all. He was completely different.
"The students were fantastic with him and didn't talk down at him or treat him differently. They took their time with him and were just brilliant."
A Pembrokeshire College spokesman said: "We were delighted to hear that our students helped Macsen have such a positive encounter at our small animals display."
The fun day is organised annually by the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society to offer children and adults with additional learning needs from around the county new experiences and lots of fun.
Around 500 people attended this year. As well as the Pembrokeshire College stand, there was a disco, a mini funfair, PAT ponies, Burns By Your Side reading dogs, crafts, and displays from Dyfed-Powys Police and the Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service and lots more.
Chief Executive Jan Pearce said: "Hearing about Macsen's visit really pulls on the heartstrings. We are very proud and privileged as a Society to be able to offer these life-enhancing experiences to children like Macsen through such a fantastic event."
An emotional Meg added: "To see Macsen just being a five-year-old was incredible. It meant so much to me to see him being a child.
"It's things like that that make all the bad days worthwhile."
Meg is now hoping to get a guinea pig for Macsen and has already been busy at home preparing a space for Macsen's first pet.
Macsen with his mum Meg.
Macsen with Pembrokeshire College student Dana Bancroft.
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