Appeal to help buy specialist bed for Kettering teenager

Riley Price

Riley Price

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A Kettering family are appealing for help to buy a teenager with autism a specialist bed.

Like all teenagers, Riley Price needs his sleep.

Riley Price

Riley Price

But a good night’s rest is just a dream for the 14-year-old, who is currently having to sleep on a mattress on the floor.

Riley has autism and epilepsy and is big for his age.

He has no awareness of his own strength and can easily become frustrated, taking out these frustrations on the things around him.

Riley has already broken four standard beds in the past four years and his mum Laura Price has had to resort to putting a mattress on the floor to keep him from injuring himself.

Riley is in need of a strong sturdy bed which will be able to carry his weight, and handle his strength when his behaviour becomes more challenging.

Laura said: “For his own safety Riley now sleeps on a mattress because as soon he becomes frustrated or sometimes even just sit on his beds they would break, he doesn’t know how strong he is.

“With me trying to repair each bed and make them stable as quickly as possible his night-time routine went out the window.

“The longer it took me the more frustrated Riley became, waking up his brothers in the process. This was a nightly occurrence.”

As Riley has grown the family realised he needed a specialist bed which would support him properly and keep him safe.

Sleeping on the floor may be OK for the time being but mum Laura knows that this is not a permanent solution and does not benefit Riley’s health.

She added: “I know it’s not the best for my son to be sleeping on the floor.

“Over recent years I’ve spent so much money on beds and tried every style out there and it has become quite stressful.

“I just want to do the best job possible for him.”

With the specialist bed Riley needs costing £740, and no statutory funding available, Laura turned to Newlife Foundation – the UK’s leading charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – for help.

His mum said: “Riley is such a happy young boy. He loves watching old videos – his favourite to watch is old episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine.

“He also enjoys swimming – anything to do with the outdoors.

“With a new bed Riley’s night-time routine can get back to normal, I will not have to worry about repairing the bed and his brothers can sleep through the night too.”

If you would like to help Riley, go to the website and click on the Donate Now button beside his story.

Riley is one of eight children in the county currently needing equipment, so any surplus funding will be used to help these other families.

In Northamptonshire, Newlife has already provided in excess of £202,000 of disability equipment – including beds, wheelchairs, seating and sensory aids – for 169 children.