A WINCHESTER boy has been given help to get about thanks to a new tricycle.

Ethan Baker has autism and is hypermobile, making it difficult for him to walk.

Now, the six-year-old has been given a specialist tricycle that will allow him to ride outside with his family thanks to charity Caudwell Children.

Ethan, a pupil at Compton’s Shepherds Down Special School, struggles to understand braking and is easily distracted, so his parents Caroline and Tommy decided to buy the £2,274 specialist tricycle for Ethan, with financial help from the charity.

Caroline said: “A friend told me about the charity so I decided to apply for funding for the trike.

“The application process was really simple and I couldn’t believe it when they said that they would cover 70 per cent of the cost, it was amazing.”

Caroline, a paediatric physiotherapist for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, says that the specialist equipment has had an immediate impact on her son and the family. “Ethan’s been out on his new trike every weekend since it arrived, and he’s hugely benefitting from it.

“He is essentially non-verbal and has profound sensory needs, and his condition means that the new tricycle will be much safer for him. Not only that it’s also spurred on his four-year-old sister, Kitty.

“She’s now off stabilisers and they’re now racing each other. This is the most interaction they’ve had in a long time. We can’t thank Caudwell Children enough!”

Caudwell Children is a national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

Lisa Bates, associate director of core services, said: “The new tricycle has been engineered to make pedalling that much easier, and soon Ethan will be able to pedal everywhere.

“The tricycle has been designed to assist physical development and rehabilitation and it will be great for building up the strength in Ethan’s legs and joints.

“Before they receive a specialist tricycle some children have lots of energy that they are unable to burn off. With this equipment they’re able to do loads of exercise without really noticing it.”