A special-needs buggy and car seat mean little Theo Taylor – who has no awareness of danger – can get out and about in safety and comfort.
Five-year-old Theo, along with mum Tina and his two sisters, moved to Belper in Derbyshire after his dad, Paul, passed away last year.
Tina said: “Theo has a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and developmental delay and struggles to make sense of the world around him. When he becomes overwhelmed by things like noise and crowds he can have ‘a meltdown’. Having a specialist buggy with a wraparound cover that he can retreat into to feel safe and calm down is hugely helpful when we are out.
“We had a buggy on loan from statutory services in the Durham area, where we lived previously, but this remained their property and had to go back. Here in Derbyshire the local authority was unable to help with a timely replacement – there is a long waiting list just for an assessment – so Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children has stepped in to help us with not only a buggy but a specialist car seat too.”
She added: “We could get a hospital appointment to tell us that we need a special car seat to keep Theo safe during journeys, but statutory services don’t provide this equipment.”
Theo had been using a standard car seat, but he would undo the seat belt and move around the vehicle. Tina said: “Theo has no awareness of danger. On local roads I would have to pull over immediately to get him back into his seat – which meant that motorway journeys were completely out of the question. The new car seat has a five-point harness and chest strap that he won’t be able to undo and it is big enough to keep him safe for several years. Now I can concentrate on the business of driving!”
The new buggy has ‘off-road’ capabilities, so Tina and Theo can also make the most of the Peak District countryside. She said: “A lot of our days out involve walking across fields and down country lanes, so having the new equipment will make life so much easier – and more enjoyable for Theo. Knowing that he has somewhere where he can feel safe and not have everybody looking at him is a huge help.”
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. It has helped 411 children in Derbyshire with equipment totalling £348,563, including the £1,275 for Theo’s car seat and buggy.
To find out more about how Newlife supports children in the county through a range of practical equipment support services, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/derbyshire.
If you would like to help a local disabled child, go to the website and click on the Donate button. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected] Right now, Newlife is working with the families of a further 16 children, with combined equipment needs of £5,301.
Pictured: Theo Taylor