top of page

Small gestures mean the world

For some, a trip to the cinema and pizza with mates might not be a big deal. For others, it can put a smile on their face for weeks. For Toby, who struggles with his mental and physical health, it was the latter.

Toby enjoyed his experience thanks to Satan's Little Helper

Life has hit 12-year-old Toby with a double whammy. He’s been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, and he also has a lung disease that doctors can’t get to the bottom of. His mum Kate says the combination has played a debilitating role in his development.

“Toby needs surgery every few months to widen his airways because they’re too narrow, which makes playing with kids his age difficult, as he can’t be as active as them. He already struggles to make connections because of his autism and ADHD, so it’s a real double whammy for him.”

Toby can find the world a difficult place – especially school. Kate also has a lung disease and is waiting for a transplant, so the house was forced into lockdown during Covid longer than most. Integrating back into a noisy, crowded mainstream school environment took its toll on his mental health.

Busy environment

“He didn’t cope with lots of people and the demands on him. He’d have anxiety meltdowns most days, which would result in him making loud noises or running away from class – which didn’t help him make connections with other students.”

To find a solution, Kate took Toby away from mainstream education.

“I can honestly say it’s changed his life. Before the school switch, he was depressed and in a bad mental state, but now he’s a lot more confident and he’s in a better position to learn.”

She says his time at his new school has been so successful, the plan is to send Toby to a mainstream high school when he finishes intermediate next year.

“Being in an environment that’s accepting and kind has helped him a lot and I’m confident that will translate to high school.”

Small gestures mean the world

When Kate reached out to Satan’s Little Helper, it was clear that Toby could do with a pick-me-up. Even small gestures can make a difference, which is exactly what happened when Toby and a few mates were treated to a cinema trip and pizza party!

“He absolutely loved it. When I told him what had been arranged, he was almost in disbelief and kept saying how lucky he was.

“Despite his challenges, he’s made a few mates, so we invited them. He doesn’t really get asked to come to birthday parties or play dates, so to be able to have one and then come home to pizza meant the world to him.

“When you have a kid who is struggling, all you want is for them to be happy, and it really brought a tear to my eye. Toby has been so angry at the world for so long; to see him happy was truly meaningful.”


bottom of page