Lend a Hand was a life saver to Kirkcaldy family

Corin's family has praised the Lend a Hand service
Corin's family has praised the Lend a Hand service

A Kirkcaldy family struggling to cope alone with autism have praised a local charity for it’s “life -saving” help.

ENABLE Scotland Fife provides vital respite care through its Lend a Hand service to the Wiscombe family.

He’s less frustrated and looks forward to doing things rather than dreading them

Liz Wiscombe

Corin Wiscombe (7) was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.

He lives with his mum Liz, dad Billy and five sisters and attends Rosslyn School.

Liz said: “We had managed on our own since Corin was diagnosed five years ago, but things were becoming a bit much.

“As Corin was getting older, more behavioural challenges developed. He was getting more frustrated and had more meltdowns.

“He was facing more new things and was finding it difficult to adapt to unfamiliar environments.

“We couldn’t take him out much because it completely stressed him.

“That’s hard when you have so many kids because there is barely any flexibility about what you can do as a family.”

Liz had scoured the interenet for help, unsuccessfully but then the family’s doctor handed her a leaflet for the Lend a Hand project - a service where volunteers care for children with learning disabilities to give their parents a break.

That led to Corin meeting carers Louise and Sam Foster, initially through day visits.

“Sam is just so laid back, which is how Corin needs someone to be, and Louise is absolutely brilliant with him,” said Liz.

“Soon after they met Corin, his dad and I, together with Sam and Louise, took him to Ravenscraig Park, and he wasn’t interested in us being there at all!

“He was more excited about having fun with them, which made us feel comfortable and confident that things were going to work out well. We wanted him to be as settled as he could be.”

Corin’s parents say the experience, which involves a weekend stay once a month, has given the whole family more freedom.

Not only do his siblings have an opportunity to spend quality time with their parents, Corin is gaining new ground too.

“The change in Corin has been great,” says Liz. “He’s a bit more laid-back and accepts new things more easily. He’s less frustrated and looks forward to doing things rather than dreading them.”

“He’s becoming more independent and he’s also doing really well at school. His language has come on leaps and bounds and he’s meeting all his targets.”

Lend a Hand would welcome interest from new volunteers - call 01592 659295, email lendahand@enable.org.uk, visit www.enable.org.uk/lendahand or drop in to ENABLE Scotland Fife Services, Alexander House, 5 Alexander Street, Dysart, Kirkcaldy, KY1 2XX.