James, six, lives in Dorset with his mum, dad and sister. He is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and often becomes anxious in social settings and new environments.

 “He desperately wants to fit in, but he is just not sure how to go about doing that,” says his mum, Claire. “Children with Asperger’s tend to know what they want in their mind, but if it doesn’t go the way they had planned, then it causes meltdowns.”

“We would often go somewhere, and James would have a meltdown, meaning we had to either leave the situation or go home entirely. That affected all of us, including his sister, Izzy, who would often get the raw end of the deal, because she would have to give up what she was doing and come with us.”

Claire applied for an iPad for James, after noticing the family’s previous tablet would often bring him comfort. “For example, he is obsessed with Mario, and loves researching the characters, and where Mario finds his coins. Usually, if James started having a meltdown it would mean we had to leave, but now if we are out somewhere and he looks anxious, I can take out the iPad and say ‘let’s go find that coin James’ and it distracts him and calms him down.”

“The iPad really helps him, and us as a family, but we didn’t have the money to buy it. We would have had to carry on as we were, not being able to do things as a family. We might have tried to save up for it ourselves, but we would have had to make a lot of sacrifices. Not just us the parents, my husband having to try and work even more hours, but we would have also had to stop activities for Izzy, like her swimming.”

Now James has his iPad, not only is he happier, but so is his family. “Izzy is able to spend more time with her friends, and even at home if James is getting a bit full on, I can use the iPad to distract him and Izzy can go off and read a book. It really is a huge help, I’m so glad I came across you guys.”

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