A six year old autistic boy from Lichfield has been gifted a touch sound light panel with help from local children’s fundraising group, Simon’s Heroes to help to enhance his learning and play.
Frankie Shaw has Nonverbal Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). His condition has left him sensitive to noise and touch and he has no sense of danger. He has little understanding and can often become anxious in busy environments. He is unable to speak and survives on very little sleep.
Frankie’s mum Becky said, ‘he doesn’t tire until 3am and only has 3-4 hours sleep a night. His dad and I have different sleep patterns to manage this.’
Frankie lives with his mum, dad, 3 older brothers Jack (13), Justin (9) and Cameron (7) and Buster and Minnie, the family pet dogs. Cameron suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and struggles with social interaction but is still able to attend a main stream school. Frankie attends Rocklands School in Lichfield, a primary school with a range of facilities for pupils with complex medical needs.
‘All the daily things moms take for granted I don’t get, my little boy has never said mom or love you but I have him here with me and that’s all that matters.’
Despite his condition Frankie is a very happy boy who is always smiling. He loves visiting the local park, especially when it’s quiet where he can run free without feeling anxious. He enjoys the company of his pet Chihuahua Minnie and building dens with cushions from around the house which gives him a sense of security.
‘I first discovered the light panel at The Autism Show a couple of years ago. I visited the event to learn more about Frankie’s condition. To my surprise he walked up to a sound and light panel on display there and started interacting with it. He stood there for hours following the lights and copying their pattern. It melted my heart. It was the most I’d see him interact with anything. I really wanted to buy one for him and so I set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise the cash.’
After the initial influx of contributions, donations slowed down, ‘We’d raised over £800 but still had a long way to go.’
Family friend and fellow charity member Karla Myatt approached Simon’s Heroes to see if the charity could help.
‘We were over the moon when we learned that Simon’s Heroes were going to make up the shortfall. Frankie plays with his sound panel every day. It’s so lovely to see him interacting with it. I can already see how it’s helping his development. I can’t thank them enough.’
Author: C Bull