Abi is five years old and has encephalitis, autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy. Abi has two sisters and one brother but doesn’t interact with her siblings much due to her delayed learning. She occasionally lashes out if her sisters try to give her a cuddle – she doesn’t like to be touched. Abi loves arts and crafts, playing with water and ‘anything to do with making a mess!'
Abi is incontinent at night which means that Emma regularly has to change bed sheets in the middle of the night. Abi has always slept in her parents’ bed so mum and dad get no sleep, and Abi’s siblings are disturbed too.
Abi’s mum, Emma, first heard about Family Fund at Abi’s pre-school but she initially had reservations about turning to a charity for support. When the family’s Disability Social Worker mentioned Family Fund again, Emma decided to apply.
They received a grant for new furniture and decorations for the bedroom Abi shares with her sisters. "I let her choose everything for her new bedroom. She really feels ownership of the room now and is proud of it. She enjoys playing in there now whereas she wouldn’t spend time in the old room at all and would just want to be at my side constantly."
Abi has a new bed too and she now spends the whole night in her own bed instead of in mum and dad’s room. "The whole house is getting to sleep better at night now."
"We are very grateful to Family Fund. It’s amazing what the charity does and we wouldn’t have been able to afford to redecorate Abi’s room at all without the grant."