A Ballymoney boy with a severe form of autism received an early Christmas present – a new purpose-built bedroom.The extension, built by the Housing Executive, will make a “huge difference” to nine-year-old Carson Madison’s everyday life, according to his mum, Mary.
The family’s home in Donnelly Park has recently been adapted using German construction methods - in what is thought to be one of the first of its kind used in social housing in Northern Ireland.
It means Carson’s airy new timber framed bedroom can be kept at a constant warm temperature but costs very little to heat.
“Carson doesn’t like wearing clothes - it’s quite common for children with autism. As soon as he comes home from school in Ballymena, his uniform comes off so it’s really important that this house is always warm,” said his mum Mary.
“Carson is at an age now - he’ll be 10-years-old in January - when he needs his own room. Up until now he has shared my room. This bedroom will become his sanctuary, he will have his sensory toys in the corner so he can come down here and feel calm, especially when he’s feeling off.”
Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey, MLA, recently visited Mary along with representatives from the Housing Executive involved in the unique build.
The Minister said: “It was a great pleasure to visit Mary and see firsthand how the adaptations programme is making a real difference. My Department has provided £4
million this year to the Housing Executive in order to carry out adaptations to their homes and an additional £10 million for disabled facilities grants to private home owners.
“The changes made to this home clearly show the impact of this investment.”