Variety Tent 52 has for the last 4 years held “Variety’s Child of the Year” this has become a very prestigious event. At the Awards Ceremony inspirational children who have faced major illnesses with courage or have selflessly devoted time to caring for others are recognised.
Leon Fromager (16) was nominated by his befriender for Autism Jersey as she felt that Leon was a very special young man. She nominated him for Child as Carer but she said that he could also have been nominated for Courage. His befriender helped Leon overcome a lot of his fears by taking him out to different places and also to introduce him to a Youth Club so that he could meet new people.
Leon has autism, a development disorder that affects social and communication skills. Autism also causes anxiety especially in unfamiliar settings or situations. Leon has impressed everyone with his display of courage and caring.
Leon shows great courage by adapting to new situations and coping with his anxieties. Some situations make Leon very anxious and he does an excellent job of expressing how he feels and coping with stressful events. Remarkably Leon has attended normal school, and in his last term he was able to get ready and go to school independently.
At home Leon cares for his Mum, she is a single mum and very disabled. Leon helps his Mum with the shopping, housework and cooking. His Mum has to use a mobility chair which limits her ability to go out and about. They have a very special relationship, there is a lot of love and laughter in the home despite their difficult circumstances.
When Leon won the Child of the Year he coped with media coverage so well. He went into the television studios and spoke, with some difficulty, about his problems and also about his unusual hobbies, which was collecting light bulbs and fire alarms, of which he had an abundance of knowledge. With the prize vouchers he won, he selflessly bought his mother a laptop and a vacuum cleaner, he really is a very special young man. With him winning the award the rewards were two-fold, we all became more aware of the difficulties that autism sufferers have to deal with on a day-to-day basis and also to see Leon grow in confidence and open up more. Leon is a remarkable young man who is going to have many challenges to face in the future as his mother’s condition is worsening. Variety congratulates Leon for his Courage and Caring attitude we are all very proud of him.
*All the children that enter this event are very special, all with inspirational stories we are humbled at Tent 52 to be able to recognise them.
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