Jake Busby is learning to play with his younger brother Alex for the first time after receiving an interactive projector funded by Variety, the Children’s Charity.
Due to his autism, 10-year-old Jake has Global Developmental Delay, meaning that he has the mental age of a three-year-old. His parents have struggled to get him to leave their house in Oxfordshire or even play with seven-year-old Alex.
“I can’t say the last time Jake’s been to a park because he can’t cope with it,” said Jake’s mum, Nichola Busby.
Jake is a big sensory seeker, so when Nichola saw a Facebook video of Omi’s Budii projector, she knew it would be ideal for him. The projector system responds to movement to provide sensory stimulation through interactive games, quizzes, and virtual painting.
When she found out the projector was £3,200 and out of her price range, Nichola was pointed towards Variety, the Children’s Charity.
The national charity, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, provides support to disabled and disadvantaged children through grants for wheelchairs, specialist equipment, experiences on Variety Great Days Out, and fully accessible transport for SEND schools in the form of their famous Variety Sunshine Coaches.
Since receiving the Budii projector, life for Jake and his family has changed.
“He comes home from school and he can’t wait to go on the projector,” said Nichola. “He’s been interacting with his brother and they’ve been playing together. He’s actually pointing to it and saying, ‘on please’.
“I’m hoping that now that we have some sensory equipment, at least when he does have a meltdown because we’ve tried to get him out of the house or because it’s a change of routine, the Budii will help and give him that sensory environment that he needs to help himself calm down.
“I will also give him that social interaction and hopefully he can go out and be around people again a bit more.”
Thanks to the new equipment, not only has Jake been happier and calmer, but Alex has been enjoying spending time with his big brother and learning to play together.
To find out more about Variety, the Children's Charity and how they help disabled and disadvantaged children, please visit variety.org.uk