A Moorlands grandmother is making an appeal for help to purchase her autistic grandson a wooden outside playhouse. Cheryl Smith, a nurse who lives in Alton, is appealing for donations so her family can purchase her grandson, seven-year-old Amir, a suitable outdoor sensory room that will allow him to have a safe space.
A Moorlands grandmother is making an appeal for help to purchase her autistic grandson a wooden outside playhouse.
Cheryl Smith, a nurse who lives in Alton, is appealing for donations so her family can purchase her grandson, seven-year-old Amir, a suitable outdoor sensory room that will allow him to have a safe space.
Cheryl told the Times & Echo: “I have a severely autistic non verbal grandson who I’m fundraising to get enough funds to build a wooden outside playhouse.
“Amir is only seven and lives for outside play. In the winter he can’t go out which leads to melt downs and self harm.
“I’m a nurse so money is tight, I also give up free time to deliver the Covid vaccine on my days off, plus Amir’s father got made redundant recently.”
Amir, who visits his grandparents in Alton often, lives in Trent Vale.
His mum and Cheryl’s daughter, Hayley, said of the appeal: “I am reaching out to anyone that can donate, even if it’s just £1, anything will help, I am very embarrassed but desperate to help our son so here goes.
“I was 23 when I found out I was expecting my first born son Amir, although not planned we were both ecstatic and looking forward to becoming parents.
“I went over my due date and on Christmas Day 2015 I went into labour, although we had planned a home birth my labour wasn’t progressing so I was rushed to hospital where Amir was delivered by forceps.
“Fast forward to about 12 months later we noticed Amir wasn’t developing as he should, he never reached any milestones and despite raising with health care professionals, everyone said he will come on all of a sudden.
“Of course Amir didn’t, I just knew as his Mommy that something wasn’t quite right.
“He developed eating disorders, wouldn’t eat food that crunched like crisps, starred at the washing machine for hours and he never spoke a word.
“As he got older he began to scream, hit out, regress into himself, I knew then that he was displaying signs of Autism as I worked with people who had learning difficulties and autism.
“Things became really tough for us as a family, we couldn’t go anywhere with Amir, he would scream and refuse to move.
“People would shout at me: “Naughty boy, can’t you control him?” cold hard stares and one lady even said: “If he was mine I would hit him and put him to bed.”
“Out of the blue I became pregnant again with another little boy when Amir was 16 months old, of course Amir has no relationship with his brother other than to hit out.
“It was then as his brother developed that we began to fight to get Amir the support he needs.
“Anyone who has an autistic child will know the fight is the great fight. There is no help, no one teaches you how to react when your child kicks, screams and bites you.
“No one explains the condition or understands that when your child doesn’t sleep at all, at 24 I was barely an adult myself and had to fight to even get any sort of diagnosis so Amir could go to school.
“You see, main stream school can’t cope with severely autistic children. Amir was diagnosed with severe autism and cannot talk, dress himself or express how he is feeling.
“Amir will never be self sufficient as an adult, the things you and I take for granted, Amir will never experience.”
Hayley continued: “Our life is difficult and I am not saying we are any different to any other parents who have a child with autism but we need your help.
“Amir gets great delight out of sensory equipment and his own space.
“We cannot give him that, my husband was made redundant as Covid hit, we have tried all the charities and they too are struggling.
“I cannot believe I am in this difficult decision where I cannot provide our son with some space.
“When he has melt downs it can tear down the whole house, he is getting stronger with age.
“So here goes, my heartfelt plea to anyone that can help us raise the funds to build Amir an outdoor sensory room that will allow him to have a safe space.
“This will allow him to have full access to the outdoors which he absolutely loves.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Amir’s appeal can do so by going online to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-amir-to-build-a-safe-sheltered-play-area
We are the only family run, independent newspaper and magazine business in Staffordshire, established 1896. We are home to three weekly newspapers – The Cheadle and Tean Times (aka The Stunner), The Uttoxeter Echo and The Blythe and Forsbrook Times.
We also produce Peeps into the Past, a bi-monthly nostalgic glimpse into our photographic archives, and three bi-monthly glossy lifestyle magazines – Stone and Eccleshall Life, Leek Life and Newcastle Life.
T. 01538 752214 or 753162
18 Tape Street, Cheadle, Staffs ST10 1BD
T. 01889 562479
5 Church Street, Uttoxeter, Staffs ST14 8AG (Uttoxeter Office is a postal address only) CURRENT OPENING TIMES
Mon & Tues 9am-11am