Travelling anywhere with their six-year-old twins was becoming so dangerous for Maxine and Lee Robinson that they were avoiding going out in the car. Their complex condition means the boys struggle to sit still and seek additional movement and coupled with their lack of awareness of danger, they were unknowingly putting the whole family at risk.
Reece and Luke, from Newark in Nottinghamshire, both have autism as well as speech and development delay. A recent assessment also showed that the boys struggle to keep still, always wanting to keep moving more so than other children their age.
Fascinated with how things work, both boys discovered that they could undo their seat belts and would attempt to pull on the handbrake and grab the gearstick. Having tried every other safety harness they could find, the boys’ desperate parents began trawling the internet for a new solution.
Dad Lee said: “It had got to the point where we just didn’t want to take them anywhere in the car – it wasn’t safe for any of us. We used public transport for a short while, however it was clear this was just isn’t practical. Maxine found a specialist magnetic safety harness on the internet but they cost over £500 each.”
Lee and Maxine turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, which was able to provide both boys with the travel harnesses they need to keep them safe in the car.
Lee said: “Reece in particular seems far more settled and calmer in the car now – and we are all much more relaxed and less stressed as a result. Now, instead of dreading going in the car, we can look forward to spending time together and taking the boys out for the day. During the summer holidays we were even able to go on holiday – the harnesses really helped with the journey.”
The UK now has more disabled children than ever before. Without Newlife, thousands would go without the equipment they need. As the UK’s largest charity providing specialist equipment to children, Newlife comes to the rescue, saving and changing lives every day. But it can’t do this alone – Newlife needs your help. There are currently 13 children in Nottinghamshire waiting for equipment totalling £3,560.
To find out how you can help, visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/nottinghamshire, call 01543 462777 or email [email protected] for more information about how you can help disabled and terminally ill children in Nottinghamshire.