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Mountain climber

10-year-old Jacob has had a troubled life due to his various conditions but a recent gift from Satan’s Little Helper look set to help him climb his personal mountains

“When Jacob was three, he was on the wrong medication for his ADHD and autism. By the time he was four, he was restrained and ended up in a padded room in a children’s hospital.”

Jacob’s mum Kate says that the medicine he was placed on in error made him more prone to violent outbursts and, due to his conditions, the 10-year-old from Otago has had a troubled life. His relationship with school is strained and he’s just started to get back into things on a full-time basis.

“He was kicked out of all his kindies because he’d get very frustrated and couldn’t communicate properly,” explains Kate.

“He’s had a really tough school experience but it’s getting better, because he has a good teacher who understands and is patient with him, so Jacob can do full days now.”

Things are looking up

Jacob is currently seen by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and is under a high complex needs Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS).

“CAMHS have fought for Jacob since day one, I couldn’t ask for more. We meet them twice a month to go through plans for his development, we see our GP once a month and we have a monthly meeting with IWS, school staff and the Ministry of Education.

“He’s on medication three times a day. As soon as he wakes up, he’s on a high until his meds kick in – which can be a handful in the morning!”

Kate says that getting outside is good for Jacob and that it helps him calm down. Before Satan’s Little Helper leant a hand by giving him a bicycle, he didn’t have a way to do that.

Freedom on two wheels

“He absolutely loves it. It’s been amazing to see him happy, especially after he’s been through such a tough time as a small kid. It’s been a hard, hard road.

“Having a bike gives him so much freedom. It has been great for both of us. He can bike to his gran, he can go up the hills around us or to the BMX track down the road and if I see a meltdown coming, I can send him out for a ride and it’ll calm him down.”

Kate’s big goal is to see Jacob make friends and navigate his upcoming introduction to intermediate school.

“The bike will help him socialise as well. He’ll be playing Fortnite and use the chat function in the game to arrange to hang out down the bike track with his mates, so it really does help him socialise off-line.”


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