Alfie is three years old and lives with his mum Kate, older brother Archie and ginger cat Charlie. Kate’s partner Carl, and his children Ava and Freddie live nearby, as well as Alfie’s grandparents.
Tell us about Alfie
“Alfie is a lovely little boy. He’s got a great personality and a real sense of humour. Since he was young, Alfie presented with signs of autism. He doesn’t make eye contact, except for with trusted friends and family, and he struggles with social skills and understanding communication.
“He struggles with his speech and can say around five words. Grandma is the only one that’s stuck consistently – to Grandma’s delight! We went to a clinic just before he turned two and got a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay.”
What’s Alfie’s routine like?
“Alfie goes to nursery four times a week on reduced hours. They are phenomenal and half of the staff have specialist training to support children with special educational needs. The nursery has been an amazing font of knowledge, they have helped explain certain traits and behaviours Alfie shows and have recommended books which have been really helpful. In fact, it was only through reading these that I discovered I have sensory processing disorder too.”
“You can’t leave Alfie for a minute as he doesn’t have a concept of danger, consequence or pain. We’re really hoping he gets a place in the special school near us I’ve applied to, as mainstream schools couldn’t cope with his needs. If you’ve never been to a special school you don’t know what to expect but visiting really put my mind at ease. It was an emotional experience feeling like ‘this’ is where my child would fit in.”
Family Fund support
“Family Fund provided us with a grant for an iPad for Alfie. Alfie used to use my old iPad and when it broke, we just couldn’t afford to replace it.
“The iPad really helps to keep him calm and bring his anxiety levels down when he’s feeling overwhelmed and helps him to focus.”
“I can’t really tell you how important it is for Alfie. As I’ve said his behaviour can sometimes be difficult, he needs one to one supervision all of the time, and he gets overwhelmed by things easily.”
How Discover Digital sessions helped
“We had 1:1 support through Family Fund’s Discover Digital training. The trainer was fabulous, helping get the iPad properly set up for Alfie. She took the time to walk me through the process step by step until I was happy with what I was doing.
“I’ve downloaded apps on the iPad which are great in terms of helping his coordination and building his communication too. There’s one based around numbers, letters and shapes and there’s one he loves which is a storyboard app and he loves learning about trucks and lorries, and how to take care of them.”
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