YOUR STORY: Local generosity overwhelms family
This story was sent to The Observer by Robeya Walt. If you would like to share your story, click here.
EARLY last Saturday morning my granddaughter and I set off to enjoy a morning of play at East Shores.
She was diagnosed with autism at a very early age and Oumie (that's me Grandmama) was prepared with food, drinks, iPad (this is a very important piece of equipment in the life of a child with autism) and one of her most comforting tools, a Sleepy Headphones with internal speakers with an iPod Nano attached.
I know that music allows children with autism a multi-sensory experience, and it motivates them to work on challenging tasks and skills.
When they have limited speech music talks for them - her music is a powerful piece of equipment in her life and relaxes her in stressful circumstances.
We had a great time walking around, playing on the swings and at the play park.
All this time Sierra was wearing her little purple headphones with Nano - it kept her calm and relaxed and from time to time she would join in with whatever song was playing.
I was loving the quality time with her since it would be the last outing before they relocate at the end of the coming week.
A little later we set off to have a few rides at the mall and then finally home.
I had an overall warm fussy feeling of contentment, and felt so fortunate to share these moments.
Then… Sunday afternoon my daughter asked me if I'd seen the headphones and Nano.
After a thorough search I realised that I must have lost these. Oh boy! I felt awful and was so distressed.
I knew these items could be replaced but the Nano contained all her songs and soothing music - this is what relaxes her - and when would we have the time to reload these on a new Nano - not to mention the cost of another set of headphones and Nano - and to do it before they fly out.
I immediately set out and placed an advertisement on the Observer Classifieds as well as Gladstone Classified's FB page. I printed flyers and circulated these at East Shores and also contacted 4CC.
WestFund Health contacted me shortly afterwards and kindly donated a Nano.
They saw my plea on your Classifieds page and decided that they wanted to help.
Their words: "We decided that we needed to do something - people must understand that the littlest thing can upset a child with special needs."
I was bowled over at their generosity but was still hoping to find the original Nano because it contained all her music.
On Tuesday afternoon I received a text message from Andy, a cleaner working for TJS Services.
He had been at East Shores and found the headphones and Nano. I was so relieved!
Our trust in the goodness and honesty of our community has been confirmed. Thank you!