Mindroom was founded by Sophie Dow, whose daughter Annie is 25 years old and has severe learning difficulties as a consequence of a chromosomal deletion on Chromosome 1, the 'short arm'.
Having spent years researching the complexities of learning difficulties, Sophie soon realised there was a huge void when it came to accessing all-round information on learning difficulties. During this period, it also became frighteningly clear that learning difficulties are widespread, poorly understood, often diagnosed very late (or not at all) and the source of massive issues for those who have the difficulty, their families and society at large.
The experience of trying to find the answers for Annie was traumatic. It took years, there was no pathway to a solution, information was unavailable, medical and educational support systems focused primarily on the mainstream, and knowledge and experience levels were low.
Through her own experiences, Sophie also quickly recognised that the term 'learning difficulties' applies just as much to society as to the children and adults involved. 'Our society seems to have a blind spot – its own form of learning difficulty – towards people with special needs,' explained Sophie. 'Society's present inability to meet their needs is both part of, and adds to, the problem.'
Something needed to be done. And, in 2000, Mindroom, was born.