A MOTHER on a mission to create a sensory room for her autistic daughter has been taken aback by the generosity of loved ones and neighbours.

Nine-year-old Karla Shaw, from Tow Law, was diagnosed with autism two years ago and is easily overwhelmed, often resulting in meltdowns and anxiety.

She also suffers from hypermobility and severe leg pain, and has no sense of danger, which is a great source of worry for her parents.

Karla’s mother, Amanda Shaw, was keen to create a relaxing place at home where her daughter can play and unwind after school. But with the cost of sensory equipment running into hundreds of pounds, she did not think the family could afford it.

Her mother, Lynne Rowland, suggested setting up a fundraising page and although Mrs Shaw was initially reluctant, she decided to give it ago.

The family also held a coffee morning at Mrs Rowland’s home yesterday, featuring tea, cakes and a raffle.

Mrs Shaw, 32, said: “The sensory room will make a big difference to Karla’s life. She responds really well to lights and other sensory therapies.

“Karla doesn’t see danger. She attends a special school now but when she was at a mainstream primary school she would climb right to the top of the PE apparatus before the teacher could get to her.

“It can be a real worry. We are frightened to let go of her hand.

“It will be fantastic to have a safe space at home where she can play and relax.”

The mother-of-three added: “I’m overwhelmed by how generous people have been. I would like to thank everyone who has donated so far and all those who provided prizes for the raffle.”

With money already raised, including a donation from the charity Cauldwell Children, the family have created the room in the garage and have purchased various pieces of specialist equipment, including a sensory centre, dark den, LED lights and bubble tubes.

They have also bought a weighted blanket which are shown to relieve anxiety and promote a good night’s sleep.

Money raised at the coffee morning will be put towards a fibre optic bean bag, with any extra money to be used padded floor mats and a projector.