Page 9 - Just Better Care Possible Magazine - Issue 4
P. 9

 busy, loud room for a long period, and listen to him talking and laughing, it’s incredible. I’m quite chuffed. That’s a really big deal for a child with severe autism. I know all the other parents at The Lab share that feeling. Like me, they feel proud.”
A quiet achiever, Luke has always had big plans for what he could create on a computer. After a few sessions at The Lab, watching other children taking new steps in programming and seeing their ability to design new things, Luke found a new skill: confidence. His men- tors have guided him on new approaches and helped him to see his dreams become goals.
With this in mind, Luke pursued an idea he had been holding onto for some time. He wanted a new computer that enabled him to explore a different type of programming that his current computer was unable to. Rather than simply buying a new computer, Luke started exploring how to build his own. He approached his dad with a plan.
“Luke came to me with the idea for design- ing a computer. He had seen other people at The Lab playing on their tablets and writing programs, so he got a whole picture of what the possibilities were. He got reassurance that he was on the right path. I told him it was a great idea, but that he would need to do his
research on each part, the costs involved and how he would fund the project,” Pete said.
“I didn’t really understand what was involved in building a computer, so there was some learning on the go for me so I could advise him properly. When he asks to buy a motherboard or hard drive, I need to trust what he says but also know that I’m making a good decision too. I would jump on forums online and ask about the part Luke had brought to me and often people would come back and say ‘yes that’s perfect’. I wouldn’t let him buy anything until he had done all the research, and he weighed up all the options before making the decision he thinks is best.”
Birthdays, Christmas and odd jobs around the house like washing up earn Luke the pocket money he needs to fund his project. His parents are also happy to contribute a little extra here and there. They wanted to teach Luke about the value of money, and Luke agreed it would feel much more satisfying to know he had not only built his own computer, but paid for most of it too.
With his new PC now up and running, Luke is refocusing his attention on animation. Proud as punch, Pete said his son has achieved so much, but he can’t wait to see what he does next.
“ I am so proud, and I’ll never put limits on what he can and cannot do. When you’ve got a kid who needs extra support, it can be really difficult, but you just think ‘I’m going to give him the best life possible’. We always give him opportunities to achieve his goals. He’s a really great kid.

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