20 year old Ruby, who has severe learning disabilities and behavioural issues due to ADHD and Autism Spectrum Condition, rocks backwards and forwards and will bounce on her bed due to her sensory needs. This has meant that Ruby, who comes from York, has broken her last three beds due to the bedframe joints crumbling from the continued pressure they were put under.
Ruby’s mum Lena comments: “Ruby would rock the bedframe and shake the whole bed constantly. She’s bang her feet against the bed as well which would make a huge amount of noise and mean that it would take her quite a while to settle down at night. Occasionally there were nights when she wouldn’t go to sleep till the early hours of the morning. This would mean that not only would the whole family’s sleep be disrupted, but also that Ruby would not get the sleep she needed which could mean her behaviour would be even more challenging the next day.
“Sometimes if she broke the bed in the night she would even have to sleep on a mattress on her floor which – although she found it a novelty – we knew wasn’t good for her as she has mild scoliosis so we had to find a more permanent solution quickly.”
At a respite care home that Ruby visits once a week, the carers showed Lena the specially adapted tough bed that Ruby sleeps on which, as it has no parts or bolts, is effectively unbreakable. Lena knew this would be a perfect solution, but the cost would have been too much for the family to bear. She continues:
“These beds cost over £800 each as they are all made bespoke to order and, as I have had to give up work to look after Ruby’s needs, we just couldn’t afford to buy one despite knowing it would significantly help benefit her wellbeing.”
“This bed means we now have so much more peace of mind that Ruby can’t hurt herself if she tries to break it as there is nothing on it that can fall apart”, Lena adds. “Ruby settles down so much quicker at night now and is getting a lot more rest which is having a positive knock-on effect on the rest of her life.
“She’s now going to a specialist college for young people with disabilities where she’s building skills that will help her live more independently. She’s got more opportunities for social interaction as well which means her self-confidence is coming on leaps and bounds and she’s really blossoming.
“Without this funding we would never have been able to have paid for the bed ourselves. The support we received from Children Today has really changed – not just Ruby’s – but all our lives for the better.”