A 13 year old boy with autism has been gifted a home computer from Simon’s Heroes children’s charity to help develop his learning and interaction.
Danny Moore from Lichfield was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the age of 2. His condition largely affects his ability to understand and relate to others and he struggles to build rapport with people. He also suffers from sleep deprivation and experiences periods of intense anxiety.
‘His condition was first detected on his 2 year check up; he wasn’t speaking’, his mum Jackie said, ‘His motor abilities were good but he just wasn’t communicating.’
Autism is much more commonplace than most people think. There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 100. The characteristics of autism do vary from one person to another. Symptoms include persistent difficulties with social communication and interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours and activities which limit everyday functioning.
‘Danny enjoys running, his favourite place to run is in the kitchen. He can get very stressed and running helps to soothe him.’
Danny lives with his mum Jackie, Dad Colin and sister Abigail (15) who suffers from Asperger syndrome and also has difficulty with social relationships. Danny attends Queen’s Croft High School in Lichfield, a state special school for pupils aged 11-19.
‘Danny enjoys art; he’s really good at it and has an amazing imagination! He also loves working on the computer, it really engages him.’
Studies have suggested that computer use can be therapeutic for children on the autism spectrum and are an ideal environment for promoting communication, sociability and creativity.
‘Danny loves his new computer; he has been doing his homework on it as well as research and learning. Thank you to Simon’s Heroes, we can already see the positive effect having one at home is having on his concentration and interaction.’ Jackie Moore.
Author: C Bull