Jacob loves jumping on the trampoline, climbing, sensory lights, and listening to his iPad in his safe space. As a sensory-seeking young boy with plenty of energy, Jacob keeps his family on their toes.

At around 18-months-old, Jacob’s development regressed as he stopped giving eye contact, stopped saying any words, stopped pointing and gesturing, and he was no longer settling to sleep. After seeing a speech and language therapist and a paediatrician, Jacob was given a formal diagnosis of Autism at four-years-old, shortly before he started reception.

Jacob also has ADHD, a learning disability, anxiety, a sleep disorder, incontinence, challenging behaviour, and he is non-verbal. He requires constant supervision, both night and day, and needs help with every aspect of daily life. As he is unable to express his wants, needs, and emotions, Jacob can become very frustrated.

Jacob’s mum, Carol, said:

I had to quit my career long ago to care for him, so his dad works very long hours to pay the bills.

It’s extremely tiring and physically draining the older, taller, and stronger he gets, and we are very isolated and sleep deprived.

Jacob’s family got in touch with Variety, the Children’s Charity for help funding a Safe Space Voyager Bed. Their social support worker suggested they contact us for help with the equipment. With Jacob’s challenging behaviour and sleep disorder, he and his family were suffering from sleepless nights.

Jacob needed somewhere comfortable and familiar to go where he would be safe throughout the night. His new bed is self-contained and soft, meaning there is little stimulation and it reduces the chance of injury. It is also easily transportable, meaning that Jacob can spend the night at his grandparents’ house.

Carol said:

The Safe Space Voyager Bed has made a big difference. Now he is able to stay overnight with his grandparents, so we can get a good night’s rest and we have peace of mind that he and they are both safe.

I wish more people knew about Autism and that children with Autism and ADHD are not ‘naughty’ and it is not the result of ‘bad parenting’. I hope future generations will be more aware and exercise understanding, not judgement.

I just want to say another huge thank you to Variety for their help.