A severely autistic teenager, Sam Coley, and his mum Claire Coley are delighted to be able to step out and enjoy the fresh air together on their new custom-built trike. The 13-year-old autistic teen has limited speech and mental age of a three-year-old. He needs 24-hour supervision, and the trike has made it possible for him and Claire to safely enjoy the outdoors.
Sam has no spatial awareness, and he would often run away from his mother. The trike’s special design enables Claire to securely strap him in and not worry about him running off. “The trike has made a big difference. Now if we’re in the house and I can sense that he’s getting frustrated or upset, I can say ‘come on let’s get out on the trike’ and change the setting for him. We just absolutely love it, it’s fabulous. It’s made both of our lives a lot easier,” said Claire in the crowdfunding appeal for the device.
Sam has ‘very high sensory needs’ and he needs frequent movement breaks. He has a lot of pent-up energy which he otherwise channels into the inclusive choir that he is a part of. However, the lockdown proved to be particularly challenging for him. That’s when Sam’s occupational therapist recommended the trike with two sets of pedals to the Coleys.
England based NGO, Children Today Charitable Trust helped Claire raise the funds for the trike by contributing as well as setting up a local crowdfunding appeal for the autistic teen. Claire was astounded that in just 24 hours, they were able to raise £3,133. “We’d never be able to raise all those funds without Children Today and without all those people who donated. We’re so grateful down to every penny. A massive thank you to everyone who donated,” she said.