A MOTHER has spoken of her relief after being able to extend her property to provide her autistic daughter with a bedroom.
Cally Laundon, 32, of Friar Walk, Worthing, was having to create a makeshift bedroom for Maddison, five, in a cupboard under the stairs just to get a decent night’s sleep.
The part-time veterinary nurse, of Friar Walk, Worthing, contacted the Herald in January after Worthing Borough Council rejected her application for a disabled facilities grant.
She said: “Originally, Maddison slept in with me, but I had to move her out of the room about a year ago because she would wake up in the night. And if she caught my eye, she could not understand that it was not morning and time to get up.
“Maddison would jump on me and I could not get her back down, so it was a case, in the end, of having to keep away from her so we both got some sleep. I had to move her to an area under the stairs to enable any sleep to be obtained.
“It was only ever going to be a temporary measure – now Maddison is getting bigger and I am getting more and more worried.”
As a last resort, Cally borrowed £10,000 from family and friends to build the extension. Work started in May and the finishing touches are now being put in place.
She said: “In order to provide a bedroom for Maddison we have had to move the whole flat around.
“So we have swapped the original bedroom and the lounge and have knocked through the kitchen to create an open-plan space.
“The priority was Maddison’s bedroom so that was the first thing we got straight and she absolutely loves it and does not come out of there most of the time.
“This has changed family life for us quite dramatically- she is much happier and now has her own space and somewhere to go when she wants to escape.
“Right from the start, she has always said, ‘This is Maddison’s bedroom’, so I know she feels really comfortable in there.
“Part of her autism means that she likes enclosed spaces and feeling secure so she will often go in there after school, close the door and play with her toys so I know that she feels secure.”
The family has received assistance from Covers Timbers and Builders Merchants which provided a large discount on building products.
Worthing Lions Club donated a midi-bed to Maddison, which has storage for toys underneath and a tent around the top.
Cally said: “Maddison likes to have somewhere to hide so the bed is perfect for her and is the reason we chose it.
“It is also a proper sized single bed, rather than a toddler’s bed, so an important step up for her.
“The bed cost £210 so we are so grateful to the Lions for providing it for us. We also received a donation of a wardrobe from the Matthew Russo Foundation that supports children with special needs.
“When you have not got £500 it becomes a lot of money and it means so much more because we really have not had a lot of help.”
Maddison’s room has been specially planned to suit her needs and includes sensory equipment such as light projectors and bubble lamps.