“When the twins turned 18, a lot of the support stopped.”
Tracy and Andrew have three daughters, 22-year-old twins Sarah and Sophie, and their younger daughter Lizzie.
“Sarah and Sophie both received their autism diagnosis at the age of four. They both have speech delay and anxiety. When the girls were growing up they went to a mainstream school, with one to one support which they enjoyed but it was difficult to take them out and about because of their anxiety.
“We have to stick to a routine so there are no unexpected situations. As they have got older, their anxiety has got worse, I think they see the world as being more frightening, and they find things like crowded places and public transport frustrating and overwhelming.”
“I don’t think people understand autism fully. We do experience other people commenting without understanding the situation. I think people have become less understanding as they’ve grown older.”
“The twins are funny and have so much to offer. Sarah is quite cheeky at times, she’s a lovely girl that always wants to please people. She loves nature photography and so we often go on walks together.
“Sophie is more serious than Sarah, probably due to her anxiety. She loves history, so we like to visit museums and historical places.”
“When Sarah and Sophie were younger we would receive a lot more support but when they turned 18, a lot of the help stops.”
“I’m their full-time carer and I don’t receive any respite. They both need someone to be with them for support most of the time due to their anxiety.
“We received a cooker through the Your Opportunity scheme because our old cooker stopped working, which made life quite stressful. The new cooker is really great and also allows me to teach Sarah and Sophie some cooking skills.
“We’ve also been granted Merlin Passes which was wonderful because sometimes when we go out to places, we pay the entry fee but then one, or both, of the girls don’t want to do it anymore because they feel overwhelmed. A Merlin Pass takes the financial pressure off going on day trips.
“It’s amazing that Family Fund continues to support young adults past the age of 18 through Your Opportunity. It takes the pressure off, since caring for them can be really expensive. Right now, the cost of living is a constant worry. We were just about managing before and now we’ve got that extra worry.”
“Family Fund has always made us feel accepted and understood. We’ve never felt ashamed or judged to ask for things. It’s nice to have somewhere that understands.”
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Your Opportunity: Help for 18 to 24 year-olds
The Your Opportunity grants support disabled and seriously-ill young adults, aged 18 to 24 years old, who are living at home.
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