Mum’s delight over funding for tactile pack to help autistic son

Mum’s delight over funding for tactile pack to help autistic son

10 April 2019

THE mother of a six year-old Crossgar boy has thanked a national charity that provides practical and emotional 

support to disabled children and their families for funding a tactile sensory pack for her son.

Adam O’Prey-Gordon — a pupil at St Joseph’s Primary School in the village — has autism, a condition that makes it difficult for him to concentrate and leaves him anxious in crowded spaces. His condition also makes it difficult for him to relax around others and he struggles to process a variety of senses including loud noises.

“Adam can become extremely anxious at school when his classmates or other pupils are making a noise,” explained his mother Christine. “This results in him getting upset and he can have a meltdown.”

Christine was becoming increasingly worried as often, when Adam came home from school, he sought isolation and would rush up to his bedroom to be alone.

Luckily Adam’s occupational therapist and GP told his mother about tactile light sensory packs and the calming effect they can have on children with a variety of neurological conditions.

Unfortunately, the sensory pack that best suited Adam’s needs cost an eye watering £1,327 which was way beyond the family’s budget. But when a friend suggested contacting the Caudwell Children charity to see if it could fund the pack, Christine could not believe it when offered to help.

“I emailed the charity and they sent me out an application form which I completed,” said Christine. “I couldn’t believe it when they agreed to fund the tactile pack. I was overwhelmed.”

Adam recently received the equipment and Christine says it’s already had a positive impact on his life. 

She continued: “The pack, which has a colourful and visually arresting panel, really captures his imagination. It’s full of tactile things that he can explore with his hands and everything glows brightly under a UV light. Adam engages with it so well and he really concentrates when he’s using it; it’s fantastic.

“Not only that, it generates electronic sound when he presses it and you can also adjust the volume and pitch so that it doesn’t alarm him. It also includes a dark den where he can retreat to calm down. I can’t thank the charity enough for what they’ve done for us.”

Christine, a self-employed psychotherapist, has created a sensory room in the attic of her home so that Adam can have a safe space to calm down and relax after a stressful day at school.

And she claims the results have been immediate.

“Adam is sleeping better and is much happier before he goes to school,” his mother enthused. “Teachers tell me he’s much calmer in the classroom and he’s mixing more with the other children.

“His homework has improved and he has less meltdowns. I realise that the sensory packs may not have this effect on every child, but it certainly works for Adam.”   

Louise Ambrose, from Caudwell Children, is delighted that the charity could support Adam and said it is “fantastic” when you hear parents explaining how the organisation has had such a positive impact on a child. 

She continued: “Without Caudwell Children’s support, many parents would be unable to buy this equipment as it doesn’t come cheap. Tactile packs can’t be secured through statutory funding so it’s really important that Caudwell Children continues to fill this gap in provision.

“The  charity’s support has been great for Adam and it appears that the calming effects of the equipment have been beneficial to him. Each feature in the pack has been designed to engage children and hopefully it will continue to attract Adam’s attention and enable him and his family to relax together.”

To find out more about how the Caudwell Children can support children visit