On Saturday (15th April 2017), Lizzie and I travelled down to Essex to meet Reggie and his parents, Becca and Mark.
Now, for those of you who might not have read some of my previous blog posts, Reggie is on the Autism Spectrum. I am in danger of majorly over simplifying Reggie’s condition here but the basic headline is that he has problems communicating with others and understanding their emotions.
(For a more sophisticated explanation of how the Autism Spectrum works, I’d recommend reading this article.)
On an almost daily occurrence, Reggie will become either angry, frustrated or confused with a situation he is in and this can lead him to lashing out and self harming. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for Becca and Mark and it was great to be able help them.
From speaking with Becca on the phone over the last couple of weeks and from speaking to a couple of experts, we came to the conclusion that a sensory room in Becca and Mark’s home would game changing for them. A sensory room is a place where Reggie can go to be comforted and relaxed by lights, sounds and smells. By creating a safe space so to speak within their home, Reggie will have somewhere to go to calm down and this will stop him from hurting himself.
So, after taking suggestions from Learning Space UK (a specialist supplier of sensory equipment) and Reggie’s school, Becca, Mark and I compiled a wish list. Becca and Mark have been able to raise funds through friends and family over the last few weeks and coupled with our membership fees over the last month, we were able to order pretty much everything on the wish list!
In total, the equipment we ordered cost £594.45 which included an oil projector, a dark den, led lights and aromatherapy dough.
The dark den will act as Reggie’s quiet area and somewhere he can take himself away to when he is anxious. The oil projector will have a calming effect and it’s highly detailed image wheels will be great for Reggie. The Mohdoh (dough) is a good fidget and smell sensory toy. It has a slight texture that Reggie will like and the more he plays with it the stronger the smells gets. Playing with the Mohdoh will also help improve Reggie’s motor skills used for handwriting. Finally, the LED lights. This was the most expensive item and will be used alongside the dark den. The lights come in different lengths but we ordered the two meter long strands because Reggie has used these before in an NHS sensory room and really liked to wrap them around his arms and legs.
The equipment is due to arrive over the next 1-2 weeks and once it has all arrived, we’re going to head back down to Essex and see the sensory room all set up.
I’d like to say a quick thank you to Becca and Mark. Firstly, for letting us tell their story and to share their experiences with the world and secondly, for being two amazing people with a lovely family.
I’d also like to thank all of our members who have helped fund this equipment for Reggie. You’ve all had a huge impact on the lives of an awesome family.
If you’ve not signed up to WeTogethr, then grab your credit/debit card and sign up here.
It takes less than 2 minutes, costs as little as £4.99 per month and at least 75% of your money will go towards buying medical equipment that will have a life-enhancing effect on those who need it.
So make sure you sign up!