Ten-year-old Noah lives with his mum, Nicola, and seven-year-old sister, Nina. Three years ago, Noah was diagnosed as autistic. A year later, Noah was then diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Type 1 diabetes.
Nicola says “It seemed like Noah’s diagnoses all came at once. Being told that he was diabetic had a huge impact. Coping with all these conditions is a huge struggle for him and our family.
“Noah struggles with socialising and going out to places because of his sensory needs, which makes him very sad. He struggles to understand everyday life. And he also feels left out a lot of the time too.”
People in their community taking the time to understand his additional needs makes a world of difference to their life. Nicola recalls one social occasion that made Noah feel included:
“I took my son to his school friend’s house for the first time. As soon as we walked in, they asked Noah if he would like to have a look around the house and set aside an area just for him if he needed some time alone.
“It was also a place for him to eat away from others, due to the smells. It made him feel so welcome and comfortable. After that, he was able to ask any questions and do things he wanted. We’ve never had this before.”
Making get-together inclusive
From our latest research in partnership with McCain, it was revealed that three quarters of families raising disabled children felt that people avoid inviting their child to social occasions because they don’t know how to act around them. As part of the research, families shared their top tips with us on how to make get-togethers more inclusive and comfortable for everyone.
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You can apply for a Family Fund grant if you are the parent, or carer, of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person up to the age of 24.
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