Five-year-old Issac Crosdale finds everyday life very stressful. His sensory processing disorder results in him freezing and curling up into a ball whenever he finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings, which makes it difficult for his family to take him out.
Issac, who lives in the Foleshill area of Coventry, has a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and has no awareness of danger. Mum Laura James said: “Issac is too big to keep picking up off the floor so we were still using his old child stroller so we could go out. But he had long since outgrown it and his bottom cheeks were sitting on the frame, which had bowed. It wasn’t comfortable or safe for him and we got to the point where he was increasingly trapped in the house. If his dad was at work I would have to ask my sister to come round to be with him so I could go out to do the shopping. The situation had an impact on Issac’s little brother Eli too.”
The family required a buggy designed for older children with special needs – but these are more expensive than regular pushchairs and are not available on the mainstream market. With no funding available from statutory services, Issac’s occupational therapist gave Laura a list of 15 charities which could potentially help.
Laura said: “Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children was the only one of the 15 which offered any support. Half of them said ‘no’ straight away.”
Recognising the urgency of the situation, Newlife – which is based in Cannock, Staffordshire – fast-tracked the application. Now Issac has his specialist buggy and the family are no longer restricted to where they can go.
Laura said: “Issac is so much happier and we are able to go out a lot more as a family. We are currently planning a family day out at Drayton Manor Theme Park, which wouldn’t have been possible before we got the buggy. Having this equipment also means I can walk him to and from school instead of having to go by car.”
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and has supported 1,489 children in the West Midlands with equipment totalling £1,435,304.
If you would like to find out more about how Newlife supports families in your area, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westmidlands. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the area. Right now, Newlife is working with a further 75 families in the West Midlands, with equipment needs totalling £89,202.
Pictured: Issac Crosdale