16 December 2016
Jack Gamble came into this world in 2007 and has been on-the-go ever since!
His mum, Georgina, is exuberant and unflinchingly honest in describing the challenges of raising her autistic son.
‘He’s a runner!’ Georgina chuckles and starts at the beginning of Jack’s story. Following 7 weeks on bedrest, she gave birth to her baby boy who was initially diagnosed as deaf. As an infant, Jack sat without a flinch as his parents banged and crashed kitchen pans behind him. Accepting the diagnosis, they focussed on stimulating his other senses: sight, smell, taste, and especially touch. Later, at 2 and a half years old, an electronic hearing assessment revealed Jack wasn’t deaf but Autistic.
Jack’s autism causes him to struggle with poor balance, and he had the tendency to disappear quickly with one of his Houdini acts! High fences surround their house, and when he grew older – they even installed them at his rural school. The Timaru police were regularly involved in searching for Jack – especially before the school installed the fences. Georgina also found travelling with Jack in the car to be increasingly challenging;
‘All that touching when Jack was a baby came back around! He was very touchy; he’d climb out of his seat and would play with my ears while I was driving’, Georgina pauses while we burst out laughing.
‘He’d give us wet willies and muck around; I just couldn’t get him back in his seat!’
After a harness failed to contain Jack, they decided to trial the Carrot Car Seat.
‘Well…’ Georgina starts, ‘He is comfy, secure, SAFE and he clicks himself in! If I start driving without clicking him in, he tells me off!’
The relief was instant, finally they no longer had to dread travelling in the car with Jack.
‘This is a kid who doesn’t wear shoes, doesn’t like having rain on his head, only likes a certain t-shirt, certain track pants… and he embraced the Carrot! Thank Goodness! It changed everything, it has taken the worry, concern and stress out of travelling. The Carrot supported him, it was comfortable and he’d even go to sleep! That was a first for our family.’
Jack prefers sitting in his Carrot to popping into the shops with Mum. So, Georgina got in touch with the Timaru police to let them know if they ever saw him sat in the car unattended, he wasn’t forgotten - just chilling in his Carrot!
Jack has had his Carrot for more than 5 years now and Georgina describes it as one of the best aides they have ever had. He is 10 and still wants to sit in it. Luckily, thanks to the Carrot various extension accessories and multi-adjustable features- he hasn’t outgrown it yet!