14-year-old Evie’s dream is to have her own sensory cabin which would enable her to feel calm and safe.
The teen, who adores being around animals, has autism, severe social anxiety and depression. Evie also has difficulty with sensory processing which can result in outbreaks which can last for hours.
Evie’s family is currently building their little girl a cabin in their garden which they’re filling with sensory items that she can immerse herself in. The space will be a haven for the teen and will help her to manage her anxiety levels, resulting in a better quality of life for not just Evie but for her whole family too.
The family, from West Midlands, has applied to our charity for a hanging swing chair for Evie. Children Today has supported the family with £754.44 to go towards the equipment, but they are still short of £787.56 to fully fund Evie’s equipment.
Evie’s mum, Suzanne, explained how the family feel like they’re in permanent lockdown as they can’t have family and friends over to their house due to Evie’s anxiety. These feelings of isolation have been amplified during the pandemic. Suzanne says:
“I’m hoping that if Evie’s got this little cabin at the bottom of the garden and she’s got her swing and her lights – she’ll be able to build up some confidence to see her loved ones again. She hasn’t even been able to see her grandparents in years.
“Evie’s going through a possible ADHD diagnosis at the moment, she just can’t relax. Whereas when we had a swing inside, she used to sit in it and she could relax and watch Netflix. Those things we take for granted like sitting down for an hour in the evening – she just can’t do that. She desperately needs the mental and physical rest and the swing will help her achieve that.
“When she was smaller, we had a swing in our backroom and the motion of it had a great effect on her, but we haven’t got the space for it anymore.”
Evie, who her mum describes as “sensitive and caring”, needs sensory input at all times to keep her regulated and calm. Sensory equipment is proven to help those affected by autism who have difficulty with sensory processing and struggle to tune out unnecessary sensory input.
There’s hope the equipment will have a positive effect on her transition back into education as Evie hasn’t been able to attend school for four years and a half years due to her extreme levels of anxiety. Evie also has PTSD associated with school trauma.
The teen, who lives with her mum, dad and older brother, has selective mutism and the only person she communicates fully with is her mum.
Suzanne, who works as a nurse, has reduced her working hours to care for Evie, and often stays up late at night to be there for her daughter. She adds:
“We’re hoping Evie’s sensory cabin will help get a bit of normality back for all of us. We’re in survival mode at the moment, it’s absolutely exhausting.
“We’re in desperate need of some joy, happiness and respite and we’re certain the adapted swing will bring just that.”
To make a donation to help fund Evie’s life-enhancing equipment, please visit: https://bit.ly/3mgXWWm
Any funds raised over and above what we need to provide this equipment will go towards helping fund vitally important equipment for other vulnerable children, like Evie.