Isaac is 13 years old and lives with his family in Cambridgeshire. His mum Hayley tells us “Isaac’s needs are severe and complex and impact his day to day life”. He is autistic and has sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, macrocephaly and Elhers-Danlos syndrome (which affects his joints).
The impact of COVID-19
“Isaac struggles to go places where there are a lot of people. This is because of his autism, but also due to his phobia about germs. This has been particularly tricky during the pandemic. Throughout the lockdowns, Isaac was unable to leave the house.
“Isaac struggled to even go into the garden because of his fear of germs and catching the virus.”
“On the one occasion I convinced Isaac to leave the house for a walk, he was in a lot of pain with his legs.” His EDS means that some days Isaac can walk, but others, he can be in a lot of pain and can’t make it more than a few hundred yards. “He had an anxiety attack as his legs were in pain. He became stressed as there were people around him and he really needed to get home because of his fear of germs. This can be typical of any day out, but it has significantly increased over lockdown.
“Isaac’s autism means he wants to feel in control, yet as things become out of his control, his anxiety increases, this, in turn, increases his need to feel in control and then his OCD behaviours become more apparent. It’s like a vicious cycle as we try to deal with each condition separately, but also as a whole.”
Family Fund help
Hayley first heard about Family Fund through a support group when Isaac was younger. “Our first award was for a tag-a-long trike. Due to his dyspraxia, he struggled to ride a bike so this helped us get out together.”
Isaac outgrew his last bike, but with another grant from Family Fund recently, he has been able to go out of the house with his family. “Since getting the new bike, he’s been out on bike rides with us. He has actually asked to go out rather than us having to try and convince him that it will be safe. Lockdown meant Isaac really struggled to go out of the house as he felt incredibly vulnerable.
“He still struggles some days, but the bike has been a real game changer for us. It’s made such a difference to Isaac and us as a family.”
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