In August 2012, Christmas came early for Isabella! A mountain of parcels arrived from The CATS Foundation all addressed to our little lady. It was a very exciting afternoon opening them all up and discovering all the wonderful things within!

Inside the parcels were a huge selection of sensory toys, there were five sensory sacks – one with tactile toys in, one with toys to use for massage, one with musical instruments in, one which contained all glow in the dark toys and one which contained a UV lamp and toys which glow in ultraviolet light. To go with the last two sacks was a huge dark den which is a perfect environment to use glow and UV toys. There was also an aromatherapy kit and the last parcel was a vibrating pillow, used for massage. I think you’ll agree that all the senses were very well catered for!

James and I built the dark den in our living room but unfortunately it was a bit too big to be kept up in our humble abode. So instead we spoke to Isabella’s teacher at school and asked if we could set up the dark den in their classroom as they have loads of room. That way Isabella can still use it but so can all her classmates and even students from the other classes too! They have their own UV and glow toys at school so in order to be able to use Isabella’s at home we have put up some blackout curtains in our living room and thankfully they work very well.

We often use the sensory kits in conjunction with other support we get from the community -portage, sensory support and music therapy. They are very envious of Isabella’s fantastic selection of sensory toys! And at the end of one of Isabella’s very busy days she can relax with some lovely smells wafting around her from the aromatherapy kit.

For some reason, toys and equipment which have been specifically designed for children with special needs always come with a ridiculously high price tag. A price that the majority of families in our situation would not be able to afford. As our special children are unable to play with the usual type of toys, if they didn’t have these specialist toys they would be pretty bored. So we send enormous thanks to all those who continue to support The CATS Foundation for helping to provide these toys for Isabella and for all her other very special friends.