Thomas is ten years old and has been diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Recently, Family Fund awarded Thomas’s family with a grant for a new computer. His mum, Carolyn, told us “I found out about Family Fund through the internet previously, but it wasn’t until Thomas was diagnosed with autism that we were eligible to apply for a grant.”

“Thomas has autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia and numerous allergies, and he suffers from a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, or EOE for short”. EOE is a relatively uncommon condition that affects the oesophagus, making eating and swallowing difficult. Carolyn explained that he also struggles with social communication: “It’s a 24/7 job trying to keep him on path and keep him engaged!”

“The grant from Family Fund has helped us amazingly. Thomas loves design and animation, and for ages he’s wanted to create things on the computer, but my laptop just wasn’t up to the job. We used our grant to buy him his own computer with a graphics card, so he can design to his heart’s content, and he can also use it to help with school work.”

Not only has having the new computer given Thomas the freedom to practice his animation skills, but it’s also given him a sense of independence. “No one’s allowed to touch his computer – it’s his and his only! It’s great, because it means he’s got something all to himself, and he doesn’t have to share. He has total control over it, it’s like his own little world. We’ve also received brilliant technical support, I’m not great with technology but they’ve been so helpful.”

“Without the grant from Family Fund, Thomas would have had to struggle along with my old laptop and wouldn’t have been able to do half the things he’s able to do now, as we just wouldn’t have been able to afford this kind of technology. It’s given him a real sense of pride, too, as he can save things he creates onto a memory stick and show it off at school”.

Thomas loves to play and create on Minecraft, and having the new computer has given Thomas the opportunity to literally create a world of his own.

“The new computer has really had an amazing effect on our lives, we’re truly grateful!”