Fans of BBC One documentary series DIY SOS were in bits after watching the dad of a severely autistic boy burst into tears at the sight of the family’s newly renovated home.
Last night’s (27.11.19) episode centred on the Taylor-Manns – a family from Bolton comprising dad Martin, mum Heather, daughters Scarlett and Penelope and son William, who has autism.
Martin works for Greater Manchester Police as a custody officer, while Heather is a part-time student Heather studying towards a Masters in psychology.
William, their eldest, is extremely sensitive to stimulation – and in particular, loud noises – so he desperately needed to have his own space in their home.
But they lived in a cramped two-bedroom property, with Scarlett sleeping in the same room as William and toddler Penelope sharing her parents’ room.
During the episode, the family said they are unable to move into a bigger house as they’re stuck spending all their earnings on their current property.
So in swept the team of volunteer builders from DIY SOS, transforming the house in just nine days with two extensions and an overhaul of the upstairs to add a whole new bedroom.
You’ve changed our little boy’s life.
And William, who the family worried might try to jump out of his bedroom window, was given a room of his own on the ground floor.
The living room, meanwhile, was transformed from a cramped sitting area to an open-plan kitchen, utility and living space.
When Martin saw what host Nick Knowles, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and the team had done, he broke down in tears.
The grateful dad sobbed: “You’ve changed our little boy’s life. I’ll forever be so grateful to all of you. It’s amazing what you’ve done for us, so thank you.”
And mum Heather told them: “We just hope we’re in a position one day to pay you back.”
The emotional episode reduced viewers to tears, with one on Twitter writing: “Breaks me every time #DIYSOS #Autism.”
Another said: “I’ve watched @DIYSOS for years and have been moved by all the different stories and families on there, however, I’ve never been moved like I have watching tonight’s episode. Unbelievable job @MrNickKnowles and his team do. #DIYSOS #Autism.”
A third said: “Don’t watch DIYSOS if you’re feeling fragile… absolutely amazing story for a little boy with autism. Pulled on my heart strings, that’s for sure! Good to see programmes talk about illnesses and disabilities you can’t always see from the outside!”
I’ve watched @DIYSOS for years and have been moved by all the different stories and families on there, however, I’ve never been moved like I have watching tonight’s episode. Unbelievable job @MrNickKnowles and his team do. #DIYSOS #Autism
— Dave Hirst (@hirsthammer) November 27, 2019
Don’t watch DIYSOS if you’re feeling fragile.. absolutely amazing story for a little boy with autism. Pulled on my heart strings that’s for sure! Good to see programmes talk about illnesses and disabilities you can’t always see from the outside! @DIYSOS #diysos #autism #bbc1
— Abby Washington (@abbypc1661) November 27, 2019
Someone else said: “Watching #diysos with a massive box of tissues. Having some understanding of what the family are going through with my nephew being severely autistic and teaching autistic children. The sister Scarlett is amazing with her brother. The mum and dad are such a lovely, caring couple.”
“That’s made my day. The work you guys do on #DIYSOS is nothing short of breathtaking,” tweeted a fifth, adding: “As a mother to an autistic child, I cry like a baby watching. Hat off, to you and your team sir.”
– DIY SOS is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer
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