Dylan was born with a hole in his heart and a diagnosis of Down's Syndrome which we had no idea of during our pregnancy. Whilst still in shock following this diagnosis, Dylan was rushed into hospital after only being at home for one week having contracted bronchiolitis which left him fighting to breath and for his life. We spent our first Christmas together as a new little family at our local hospital watching our little boy being ventilated and his oxygen saturation constantly regulated. Dylan managed to fight this and after being under the care of a cardiologist for the first year of his life was finally discharged after the holes in his heart repaired.
Dylan has always been a happy, loving little boy with a mischievous sense of humour but, as he grew older and failed to reach the milestones that even other children with DS of his age were achieving, we realized that Dylan had more complex needs than we originally first thought. He was diagnosed with also being on the autistic spectrum when he was 5 years old. This co-condition has caused Dylan the greatest difficulties and challenges to face as he battles daily with sensory processing difficulties that he is unable to regulate. This can leave him either very hyper or under stimulated such that every day life can be extremely stressful and tiring for him. Dylan is also non-verbal and so it is very difficult for him to communicate his wants and needs which can be very frustrating for him.
However, Dylan has always been very tactile and loves looking at bright patterns and feeling different textures. Having a lovely quilt to hold, feel and wrap around himself would provide a lot of comfort to Dylan. It would help him to calm himself when he becomes hyper-stimulated instead of resorting to other more harmful activities to try to regulate himself such as chewing on his fingers or flapping his hands against his face.