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Three-year-old Charlie has his frog back after Great Yarmouth steps up to answer mum’s plea

PUBLISHED: 15:51 12 October 2018

Charlie Dumpleton with his mum, Leigh.

Charlie Dumpleton with his mum, Leigh.

Archant

A mum has described the Great Yarmouth community as “amazing” after it pulled together to buy her autistic son a replacement for a prized toy.

Charlie Dumpleton's frog, the leg of which broke off when he was playing with it.Charlie Dumpleton's frog, the leg of which broke off when he was playing with it.

Three-year-old Charlie Dumpleton was left distraught when the leg recently broke off his rubber frog, bought for him by his aunt from Gorleston when they visited in May.

Charlie - who has autism, sensory processing disorder, pica and severe speech delay - used the toy as his main ‘comfort and sensory anchor’, according to mum, Leigh, and ‘frog’ is one of the few words he can say.

So when the toy broke, he immediately began begging his mum for a new one.

And when replacement toy frogs couldn’t fill the void, Ms Dumpleton, who lives with Charlie in Hemel Hempstead, took to Facebook to ask Great Yarmouth people to come to the rescue.

Charlie Dumpleton with his favourite frog.Charlie Dumpleton with his favourite frog.

She said they soon stepped up.

“I trawled online and couldn’t find it,” she said.

“But the response on the Great Yarmouth community page has been amazing.

“So many people are looking out for this frog.

“I thought it was a long shot posting there, I didn’t expect such a response and such kindness.”

Several people have responded to the post offering their services, and posting pictures toy frogs which might fit the bill.

But with Charlie besotted with his original frog, only one kind would do.

And it didn’t take long for the specific toy to be found.

“Charlie has been fortunate that someone on another page had a frog at home that she kindly sent us, but we would love spares if they can be sourced,” Ms Dumpleton said.

“I’m petrified he’s going to lose or damage this one. Without it he is lost.”

The family have started a Facebook page called Honestly Autistic - Our Journey, to document Charlie’s day-to-day life.

Charlie and family - and frog - also visited Gorleston and Great Yarmouth in August, where the youngster was able to enjoy his favourite activity - a ride on the horse and carriage.

• If you have a replacement frog you can send to Charlie, head to Honestly Autistic - Our Journey on Facebook, and leave a message for the family.

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