Three-year-old Gunnar Robinson really struggles to sleep and that has a big knock-on effect in his life. So, to help him sleep like a baby, Satan’s Little Helper enlisted some help from zeds specialists Ecosa.
Gunnar Robinson lives in a world that isn’t kind to him. Food doesn’t feel good in his mouth, sleep is hard to come by, and he struggles to communicate.
“He’s autistic,” explains his mum Emma. “He’s got a lot to contend with and he generally gets very frustrated because he struggles to talk.”
Gunnar has also had a scary seizure that left him struggling to breathe.
“He went blue and stiff while he was in bed, which makes things difficult as one of myself or his dad has to be with him at night in case it happens again.”
Like many autistic people, Emma says that Gunnar has sensory issues and struggles with change.
“New is tough for Gunnar. He can only eat specific things like chicken nuggets and pizza, or else he’ll gag, and he really battles with brushing his teeth or getting his hair cut.”
Less frustrated, more happy
When Gunnar gets super frustrated, he’s been known to try and take it out on himself – sometimes by head-butting a wall.
To help bring some much-needed relief, Satan’s Little Helper teamed up with Ecosa, who sent Gunnar a weighted blanket for free to give him a safe space to go when he’s feeling overwhelmed and hopefully catch some zeds.
“He’s improved so much since he got the blanket! He sleeps through the whole night now but before he got the blanket he’d be up every two hours or so,” says Emma. “It also helps him settle a lot faster. For example, we can put on a movie and leave him to fall asleep on his own rather than have to lay with him for an hour.”
He’s also developed in other ways.
“He’s now saying three-or four-word sentences and has stopped banging his head in frustration!”
Life isn’t just about frustration. Gunnar is shaping up to be an engineer-in-the-making and loves to figure out how things work.
“He’s really happy to hang out with himself, especially when he’s playing with his screwdriver or putting things together.”
So, to help Gunnar build on his passion, Satan’s Little Helper also sent him a big bucket of Meccano.
“There’s a little tool that comes with the bucket and he absolutely loves it – he knows it should be used to build stuff and he loves it.”
It can be hard for Gunnar to develop new likes and interests, so Emma is happy to let him go at his own pace. He will have more challenges in the future, particularly when he goes to school, but he will also have triumphs and important moments.
Having someone acknowledge their struggle is important to Emma.
“The help from Satan’s Little Helper and Ecosa is more than any service has given us. It’s been so lovely to have someone recognise our situation and care about us!”