“Four year old L is an active child who loves trying to climb on things and people (with a bit of help), being outdoors and exploring and is a big fan of anything that lights up in any way and anything he can press, even though he struggles with the co-ordination to use them. He’s a big fan of sensory items, like infinity mirrors and bubble tubes, and of course bubbles, big and small.
L is, as yet, three years into his journey under a paediatrician and has no primary formal diagnosis, but I refer to him as autistic non verbal. As with other children with autism, he struggles with sleeping, eating and textures and can struggle with busy, bright and noisy places. As he has these difficulties, we are frequently at appointments with the NHS and private appointments, and these environments can be difficult for him to deal with, and he finds even a basic examination at the GP hard to deal with.
He also has reflux issues, and many foods make him vomit and he cannot take part in “normal” kids parties and family meals due to a very restricted diet and needing lot of support and distraction at meal times. He also has other medical issues, which he has an OT and PT for, and he struggles with mobility, coordination, motor planning and cannot walk for long and he can’t run or jump and lacks strength. He is also on the waiting list for another operation, and all of this makes for additional stresses on family life.
We asked for help from Cerebra’s toy library as traditional toddler toys weren’t working for us, L had limited interest in them and often struggled to use them in the way which they were designed. We’ve found the items we’ve had from Cerebra a real success and has really held his interest and also the switch adapted toy was a real success too as he finally figured out a cause and effect toy.
We received a quick approval from the very helpful Jan, and I was really happy with the process. Using the toy library means we can have variety and try out toys risk free and, as sensory and specialist toys can be expensive, this allows us to try things we couldn’t afford to also. It has allowed L to explore less traditional toys and has allowed him to play more independently.
Why our library has been a real boost
The toy library membership has really lifted our moods and been a real benefit to us, and the approval was quick and simple. Almost everything else we’ve ever tried to get in place for L through the NHS and other agencies has been a real battle as we don’t yet have the elusive diagnosis. This year will hopefully see us progress in the right direction with this, but it was just so nice to be part of something that was simple to use, the communication was great and the range of toys is excellent.
Everything was straightforward and the communication was great and this was just so great to find, when trying to get anything else in place for him is an absolute battle. I’m so, so grateful for the free of charge service which allows L amazing items to get on loan and it’s just made a bad and hard situation that much better and happier.
I am so grateful for the toy loans and with the switch adapted toy, it’s made L learn how to operate things by himself and he can easily work them with his fingers, and often his feet, which he prefers to use. This has now almost spurred him on in a recent ASN Soundplay Projects workshop, where he sought out the switch-adapted items and I could really see he was engaged and this was holding his attention and I think this is due to him learning from the Cerebra toys.
Thank you all so, so much.”