The father of a local boy, has thanked a charity that provides support to disabled children and their families, for funding a calming Light Sensory Pack for his son.
Jacob Blayney (5) from Ballyclare was diagnosed with autism at the age of four.
The condition has left him struggling to communicate with other children and he has difficulties processing a variety of senses including sight, sound and touch.
As a result Jacob often becomes anxious in noisy environments, as his father David, aged 37, explained: “He often has meltdowns in public spaces and to the untrained eye it may look as if he’s misbehaving.
“But the truth is that he’s affected by sensory overload. A number of things could trigger it, the volume of noise being an obvious one. However, it could be a smell, the texture and feel of something or even a bright colour.”
David, an Account Manager for Barclay Communications Ltd, says that this often makes it difficult for Jacob to mix with his peers.
He said: “He can retreat into himself and he can display repetitive behaviours which has an impact on his social interaction.”
But now, thanks to national charity, Caudwell Children, Jacob, a pupil at Roddensvale Special School in Larne, can relax in a ‘Sensory Area’ within the family’s home after the charity funded a Light Sensory Pack for him.
David, took to social media to publicly thank the charity, posted on Facebook: “I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Caudwell Children for our son’s autism sensory pack.
“He absolutely loves it, especially the dark den and the bubble light tube. He loves to have it on all the time when he is in the room and he honestly seems much more relaxed since we got it.
“His baby sister Amelia loves to have a play with it too.”