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Happy camper

Eli has endured a difficult childhood. He faces a daily battle with sensory problems that leave him under-rested and struggling through the day. To help Eli sleep better, Satan’s Little Helper sent a blackout canopy for his bed – the difference has been huge!

Eli loves his canopy - gifted by Satan's Little Helper

Things haven’t been easy for Eli. He has experienced childhood trauma, which, combined with sensory issues, have led to behavioural challenges that mean he’s been moved around four different schools.

“He can get completely overloaded with sensory experiences such as noise,” explains his mum, Nora. “Eli also struggles to regulate his emotions, which can get really big for him.”

One coping method Eli deployed, much to his mum’s distress, was flight. When things got too much, he’d run and run as far as his legs could take him – often out the front door and down the road.

Needs a safe space

He does that because he felt he didn’t really have a safe space in the house. His room looks out onto the street and is often flooded by bright streetlights.

“We don’t have blackout curtains, so the light hurts his eyes and he’s been forced to sleep in our lounge.”

Eli’s disrupted sleep routine negatively impacted his behaviour, so when Nora asked Satan’s Little Helper for a blackout canopy for his bed, we were only too happy to oblige.

The canopy sits on top of his bed, similar to how a tent would, and provides a “safe, dark place” for him, says his mum. It’s been equipped with plenty of items to help meet Eli’s sensory requirements.

“There’s a night light inside the tent, plenty of comfortable blankets and a rabbit doll toy with heaps of weight in the bottom.

“It’s been a great tool for him to go and regulate his emotions. He can sit there for as long as he needs to and then he comes back to us.

“He’s had a lot of trauma in his life, but now he’s been given the chance to empower himself to regulate his own emotions he’s learning how to organise them before he spits them out everywhere.”

Feeling good

While Eli still spends nights on the couch, he’s slowly migrating towards his bed and is getting used to sleeping in his room.

Now, he’s doing a lot better at school and has come a long way since the end of 2022.

“He’s taking the concept of a safe place at home into school. He’s been invited to attend the school camp, which he’s never been invited to before!”

Nora says he’s more confident at school, which is leading to better academic achievements and improved behaviour.

“You really made a kid feel good for himself when he didn’t have a lot of good going on. The canopy is having a positive impact on his life and I’m so proud of how far he’s come in a short period!”


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