Seven-year-old Lewis Justice from Leven has Autism which results in him becoming easily frustrated and hurting himself and others – including his mum who has sustained two broken ribs and concussion. He will now receive a specialist bed of his own to keep him safe through the night, thanks to the sale of carrier bags in Scotland from a major fashion chain.
Lewis has ADHD, learning difficulties, is nonverbal and has no awareness of danger. His conditions can trigger aggressive meltdowns where he will hit and kick walls and floors and head bang. He also struggles to sleep, leaving parents Natallie and Muir further worried for his safety through the night as he could roam their home unsupervised. Statutory Services were unable to help, so in desperation they turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children which quickly provided the loan of a specialist bed to keep him safe and launched an appeal to fund a £5,657 permanent replacement.
Lots of donations from the local community quickly built up, but he will soon receive the bed thanks to a £4,945 Oasis Warehouse Ltd, which is currently donating all of the bag levy funding from the sale of carrier bags in Scotland to Newlife to help fund equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in country.
Mum Natallie said: “This is absolutely great – I can’t wait until it comes and I can’t thank people enough for helping us – this will make a big difference to us.
“Lewis is a lovely wee boy, but he likes to jump around and make a lot of noise – which we are aware the neighbours can hear. When he has a meltdown he can hit and kick the walls and floor, throw himself to the ground, head bang and throw things about, which can hurt himself and anyone nearby. He has two sisters, Harley, aged nine, and Kayla-Lee, aged four, and the younger one is quite fragile – I don’t want anything to happen to either of them or Lewis.”
The specialist bed, which is essentially a room within a room, is designed to have low sensory stimulation and has walls which are soft, strong and flexible, so Lewis can’t hurt himself when he is in there. Although the loan bed helped reduce the number of meltdowns and the severity, he desperately needed permanent provision of his own.
Mum Natallie added: “I won’t be worried now that Lewis will be wandering the house at night, so I’ll be able to get more sleep, in fact the whole family will be able to get more sleep!”
Pictured: Lewis with his family