Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Charity helps Sidmouth boys who ‘grew up quickly’

06:00 27 July 2014

Autism sufferer Ryan Luxon with his brothers Jamie and David and mum Fiona. The brothers have benefited from the Young Carers charity. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 8917-29-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Autism sufferer Ryan Luxon with his brothers Jamie and David and mum Fiona. The brothers have benefited from the Young Carers charity. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 8917-29-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

A Sidmouth single mum has thanked a Devon charity that helps her sons lead a normal childhood as they care for their autistic brother.

David Luxon, 13, and Jamie, 10, have had to grow up remarkably quickly since five-year-old Ryan was diagnosed two years ago.

But with the backing of Devon Young Carers (DYC), the boys have coped and given invaluable help to their mum, Fiona, in dealing with the youngest’s often violent outbursts.

“Autism is very tough,” she said. “It’s been frustrating for all of us.

“Ryan gets aggressive. Day to day life is very challenging – even getting ready for school is like a military operation.

“You almost have to do a risk assessment before you try to do anything.”

Ryan’s diagnosis came after months of assessments by opticians, hearing specialists and paediatricians before a speech therapist referred him to Exeter’s Honeylands children’s centre.

“From 15 months old I started to notice he wasn’t engaging with people – he wasn’t paying attention to anything, there was no communication,” the 35-year-old said.

“I thought he was just delayed – then my eldest said ‘Why does Ryan hate us?’

“Then it wasn’t just me noticing. But I wasn’t expecting autism. I thought it couldn’t be.”

Ryan’s struggles to communicate often mean he expresses himself through violence.

She said it is ‘tough going’ for a 10-year-old not to shout out if Ryan bites him and to realise it is his way of communicating his displeasure.

The youngsters have also had to help out around the house while their mum, who had to leave her job in a care home, looks after him.

“This is full time for me,” said Fiona. “The other boys help out with the day to day running of the house, washing up, running to the shop – they have had to grow up very quickly.

“I can’t commend them enough.”

But Ryan’s starting at Mill Water School has given her a chance to look for work, albeit a job that can fit around her sons’ needs.

Since being referred to Youth Carers in 2012, Sidmouth College student David and Jamie, who is at Sidmouth Primary School, have been offered a ‘lifeline’.

“Having the support of Young Carers is certainly well deserved, it gives them a chance to get out and play,” their mum told the Herald.

“They meet other carers – it lets them know they aren’t the only ones. It gives the children a break and gives me peace of mind.”

The boys attend a youth club, get to go on days out, and will be going on holiday with their mum.

But she said there is still a lot of misunderstanding about unseen disabilities.

“I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘If you can’t control him you shouldn’t have had him,’ or that he just needs a good smack.

“It would be nice to have more awareness of mental health issues.”

DYC supports carers aged between five and 18.

Liz McQuiston, DYC lead practitioner for East Devon, said: “In Sidmouth 49 young carers are known to our service but national research shows that 1 in 10 young people is a young carer.”

Last month she accepted £1,500 on behalf of the charity that was raised by Sidmouth’s line dancing club and various other events.

She said it would provide eight young carers with a weekend residential and 30 young carers with a day trip.

To find out what DYC offers or to make a referral, call 08456 434 435.

1 comment

  • i noticed the story and was an old friend from the past for her but lost number due to phone being nicked if you can pass the message on my name is alex ridgeway she knows who i am on 07936105880

    Report this comment

    James Ridgeway

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:30
Sidmouth Regatta raft race on Saturday evening. The team from All Saints church catch a wave and surf into the beach.

The organisers of Sidmouth Regatta’s raft race are calling on families and community groups to make some memories on the water this summer.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Local school children were presented with their prizes and awards by Lady Cave this week in the school's garden competition organised by Sidmouth Rotary. Ref shs 28-16SH 2084. Picture: Simon Horn.

Young gardeners from across East Devon have been praised for their green fingers as part of a competition organised by the Rotary Club of Sidmouth.

Read more
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Sidmouth slimmer Glenn Channing was nominated by his local Slimming World group to be crowned on its men of the year list.

A pair of Sidmouth men are recognised by their Slimming World group in its men of the year list.

Read more
Saturday, July 23, 2016
a flashback to FolkWeek in 1972. Ref shs Folk week 1972-23. Picture: Archant archives

A lookback at FolkWeek from early ‘70s

Read more
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Dads on Wheels cyclists Andrew Judge, Mike Harms, Brian Taylor and Matthew Meek with their children and Hays Travel staff

Four dads trying to get fit are taking to the saddle in Sidmouth to boost a pair of good causes with an all-day bike ride.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Proposed new West Hill parish council boundary

Campaigners welcome split but express disappointment over boundary

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Ian Rangeley, chairman of Seaton and Beer RNLI, with volunteers at the Beer lifeboat week. Ref shb 27-16TI 3453. Picture: Terry Ife

Crowds flocked to Beer’s annual Lifeboat Week to raise £1,270 for the RNLI.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Sidmouth Lifeboat crew warn people of the dangers of climbing on the rock breakwaters this week. Ref shs 29-16SH 7567. Picture: Simon Horn.

Swimmers are being urged to check conditions before they enter the water after a number of people were rescued from Sidmouth’s breakwaters this week.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Option Four

The public has spoken and more breakwaters are the preferred choice to shore up Sidmouth seafront – but less than one per cent of the town’s population turned out to vote.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Jo Earlam, Pauline Beare and Peg Wiseman are behind the inaugral Women Can marathon

Race through Otter and Sid Valleys to raise awareness and inspire

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications