Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Family Can Picture a Brighter Future Now

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Family Can Picture a Brighter Future Now

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Luke Reporter

THE family of a sevenyear-old cancer patient are hoping support from e Chronicle's Sunshine Fund will give him a better chance in life.

Not only was Harrison Mooney, of Blyth, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in July 2013, but the youngster was found to have autism in 2010 and last November ADHD (attention decit hyperactivity disorder) was added to the list.

It made life challenging for mum Fiona, 37, dad Gareth, 35, and brother Declan, 13, who have grown used to Harrison's "meltdowns".

But now, thanks to fundraising from Northumbrian Water, the Sunshine Fund - which provides specialist equipment to children with disabilities in the North East - has brought hope to the family by providing PECS (Pic-ture Exchange Communication System) resources. Fiona, who is a part-time oce worker at an electrical contractor, said: "When Harrison turned one we knew there was a problem and by 14 months we were pretty certain he had some kind of autism.

"Every day is a struggle for him living with autism and ADHD, as well as cancer. He gets frustrated because he cannot communicate properly and then has meltdowns.

"It is absolutely devastating."

Harrison. is a pupil at Northumberland Church of England Academy's Josephine Butler campus in Ashington, which caters for youngsters with special educational needs, and also suers from sensory problems and a lack of danger awareness.

In November, the Mooney family appealed to the Sunshine Fund for the PECS equipment, worth PS408, which includes an interactive scheduling board detailing exactly what Harrison will be doing during each day and a system in which the youngster can used pictures to tell his parents what he wants to say and is feeling.

Fiona, who already had a basic PECS book in the house, said: "It is early days but the equipment denitely seems to be helping - there are signs of him being calmer. …

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