Five-year-old Elissa Rossor will soon be getting her ‘big girl’ bed. This is particularly uplifting for her mum Shylah, because for the past eight months Elissa has been sleeping in a specialist bed for her own safety.
Elissa, from Kidderminster, has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and one of the effects of this was that she ate inappropriate things.
Shylah said: “Elissa was stripping the wallpaper and eating it. We lived in private rented accommodation and there was a hole in the wall and she was eating the plaster. I could only sleep for an hour at a time because I was always worried that if Elissa woke up – and she is a poor sleeper – she would eat something she shouldn’t.”
Elissa’s occupational therapist told Shylah about specialist Cosyfit beds – but there was no funding available through local statutory services for this equipment. So Shylah applied to Newlife and – recognising the urgency of the situation – the charity provided the appropriate support.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Shylah said: “In just eight months of using the Cosyfit Elissa has made considerable improvement and in the last year has stopped eating inedible things. She is now able to sleep in an ordinary bed again. The Cosyfit kept her safe until she had developed the ability to sleep safely.”
She added: “It’s good to let other parents in a similar position know that there can be good news for children with conditions like Elissa. Her development has progressed and she has learned not to eat inappropriate things. Instead, she gets herself a bowl of cereal. I think this is largely down to the specialist bed.”
In fact, Elissa has improved so much that she is now getting a sleigh bed for her room. “I thought she might have to use specialist equipment for the rest of her life, so this is a huge development.”
Newlife has provided vital equipment for 194 children in Worcestershire, at a cost of £326,864. To find out more about how Newlife supports children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/worcestershire. The charity is currently working with the families of another six children with combined equipment needs of £4,024.