Six-year-old Tarli lives in Birmingham with his mum Anna, older sister, and younger brother. Tarli is autistic.
Anna explains: “Tarli was diagnosed as autistic when he was four, two years after the assessment process began. Tarli initially started education in a mainstream school because his assessment paperwork wasn’t finalised in time. He really struggled in a mainstream setting but thankfully he now goes to a specialist school that’s specifically for autistic children which he absolutely loves.
“We’re unable to do many things that people usually take for granted. For example, we can’t just pop to the shops when we feel like it because Tarli doesn’t handle crowds and noises well. He even goes to, and leaves from, school at different times so that he misses the crowds. Anything related to noises and crowds is overwhelming and can lead him to having meltdowns, which stops him form taking part in some activities. This has a knock-on effect for his siblings since they often miss out on experiences as a result.
“We have a strict routine. Tarli eats his breakfast, lunch, and dinner at exactly the same time every day, even when we go out for a meal. Tarli is completely non-verbal. As his mother, I understand him the best out of everybody so I can tell his needs and wants. We have been using picture cards with him for three years and they help, to a certain extent. But it frustrates Tarli if people don’t understand what he means.
“Additionally, Tarli has some sensory issues. He doesn’t like wearing layers of clothes which is troublesome in the winter and results in viruses and infections. Tarli can’t wear clothes with zips and buttons. We’ve tried everything but he just won’t wear multiple layers.”
How Family Fund helped
“Tarli’s condition has financially impacted my family. I had to give up my job to become Tarli’s full-time carer, because there aren’t any before or after school clubs for children with special needs. Also, when Tarli was at the mainstream school, I would get a lot of phone calls asking to pick him up, so I was getting a lot of disciplinaries at work for having to leave early.”
Family Fund has supported Tarli’s family by granting family breaks away to Haven holiday parks – giving the chance to spend quality time together whilst experiencing new opportunities. Anna says, “Since our finances significantly decreased, being able to afford a holiday was out of the question.”
“Thanks to Family Fund we were able to have a break away without any financial pressures. It was lovely to be able to spend time together as a family without any worries.”
“Tarli absolutely loved all the activities. I booked him in for a few that I didn’t think he would take part in, but he loved them all. It was nice to see him come out of himself more and gain new experiences.
“Family Fund has been a godsend. The charity has really helped us to afford new experiences for Tarli that otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to afford.”
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Grants for family breaks
We work with a range of providers to offer breaks to suit your family's needs. Louis and his family used their grant to visit York and returned home feeling rested and recharged.
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