Variety Kid Klark loves to read and watch movies, and, like many 4th graders, he finds school to be “okay.” He has also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism, and he is non-verbal, but he and his family don’t let this weigh them down.
What does help Klark on a regular basis is a weighted vest. As a child with autism, Klark is often overstimulated, but the vest gives him a sense of comfort and security, helping him to calm himself in certain situations.
“He feels like he is being hugged,” says Klark’s mom, Karla.
Until recently, however, Klark only had access to this vest while at school. He didn’t have one of his own, which made life at home, and especially on outings when stimuli are ever-present, more difficult.
Without the vest, Klark’s family often feared that he would injure himself when he was feeling overstimulated. They also worried that others would not understand autism and the situation at hand – Karla shares that they were once asked to leave a restaurant because Klark was experiencing overstimulation and was unable to calm himself.
“We wouldn’t take him places because of that fear,” says Karla. “But I don’t want to keep him away from people just because they don’t understand him.”
That’s why Karla reached out to Variety to ask about getting a weighted vest for Klark to have any time he needs it. And, thanks to the help of our supporters, we were able to provide it.
The vest has since made a big difference both at home and on outings to the store, restaurants and more, because he can put it on and feel safe and calm. It also helps the whole family because it gives them “peace of mind,” as Karla explains.
This peace of mind comes from both the fact that the weighted vest helps Klark, and that Variety is able to offer assistance with the financial part. Variety has also provided Klark with a stroller and multiple sets of orthotics over his lifetime, and this Variety family is truly thankful for this help.
“Variety’s assistance means a lot,” says Karla, “They have helped me with so much since Klark was diagnosed.”
Thank you to our supporters that make assistance like this possible! If you’d like to learn more about Variety St. Louis’ durable medical equipment program, click here. If you’d like to donate to help Variety Kids and families, click here.