Cerebra’s grant scheme provides specialist equipment for children with brain related conditions so that they can enjoy life to the full – the same as any child.
Four year-old Charlie recently received a trike through a Cerebra grant and his mum Sarah told us how having the trike has transformed the family’s lives.
“Charlie was diagnosed with IP 36 deletion syndrome when he was two years old after a particularly astute paediatrician noticed some signs of the condition in Charlie.
His development was delayed and he missed many of his milestones so we knew that he needed to be checked.
Charlie is non-verbal and has severe developmental delay but he is still the happiest child. Even though he can’t communicate verbally, he still has great social skills and loves being out and about.
We are quite an active family and used to enjoy going out for bike rides and wanted Charlie to be able to enjoy the same freedom. Just because he has special needs – it doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be able to enjoy the same activities as any other child!
We looked at getting Charlie a specialist trike from Quest 88 but the model that was suitable for Charlie’s needs was £2,300! That’s when we approached Cerebra for a grant to help towards the cost of the trike.
Since receiving the trike, Charlie has gone from strength to strength! It took him a little while to get used to the pedalling motion but now there’s no stopping him. He even giggles when we overtake people which is a joy to see!
Although he can’t communicate verbally, Charlie has learned a Makaton sign for bike and uses the Makaton sign for ‘more’ whenever we stop cycling to indicate we need to keep going! He will also pick the PECS symbol for bike when choosing which activity he would like to do. Then the normal sentence it a lot! It’s great to have something “normal” that we can all do together.
As well as the emotional benefits, Charlie’s Physiotherapist told us that the bike would develop his coordination and help to strengthen the muscles in his legs and core as he gets more independent with the pedalling motion. I can certainly see how the bike gives him lots of opportunities to develop physically.
Even though we steer Charlie when he is on the trike, the controls to do this are at the back so as far as Charlie knows, he is in control. This has greatly improved his confidence and has given him a little taste of independence – something that is invaluable.
We can’t thank Cerebra enough for the difference that having the trike has made for Charlie – and for the whole family.”