Jarrah and Woody’s story

Six months ago, Woody entered the life of 12 year old Jarrah, a young man with autism, and things just haven’t been the same since. When Jarrah becomes upset about something such as needing to go to the toilet or losing a possession, he goes into meltdown. His accompanying sensory issues mean that the only way to deal with the meltdown is to apply pressure to his body.

A passer-by once told his mum Emma that he “needed a good smack” as she struggled to calm her son by lying on top of him in the shopping mall. Now it’s Woody who lovingly lies on Jarrah’s back to alleviate his anxiety.

When Woody, Jarrah and Emma stepped onto the stage in October 2016 at the Sydney graduation ceremony in Martin Place, Sydney CBD, they literally stole the show. Emma spoke passionately about the extraordinary difference Woody has made to their lives and when Jarrah added a few words of his own, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

“Woody has actually helped me,” says Emma. “He gives me strength and makes me feel more organised and able to take on whatever comes next.”

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