Kinder Egg shark hunt boy finds toy after eight-month quest
The family of a boy with autism say they are "delighted" he has finally opened a Kinder Egg containing a shark toy after an eight-month quest.
"Shark-mad" Jayden Lakey, aged six, from Plymouth, Devon, said "wow" as he opened the egg.
Ferrero, which owns the Kinder Egg brand, sent the family the special egg following an appeal on Facebook.
Mum Vicky Lakey said the family was "absolutely delighted" that Jayden had finally found the sought-after shark.
She said: "Jayden took the shark to bed with him and it was so lovely to see he was still holding on tightly to it sound asleep, plus the instruction leaflet.
"We're so pleased Ferrero assisted our shark search in the end."
Jayden started his search last Christmas when he saw the toy shark on the side of a box of Kinder Eggs.
Mrs Lakey said finding one "seemed a relatively easy exercise" at the start of the year.
Despite choosing an egg as a treat at every opportunity, none contained the shark toy.
His parents wrote to Ferrero in June asking to pay for an egg guaranteed to include a shark toy, but were turned down.
The family turned to Facebook on 13 August for help. Subsequently, Ferrero said it had been "searching through our collection of surprises to find a shark toy" and one was on its way to Jayden.
Mrs Lakey and her husband Richard thanked people "from all over the UK" who had sent Jayden Kinder Eggs and shark merchandise after seeing the Facebook post.
Many people with autism have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a young age:
- These can change over time, or be lifelong, and can be anything from art or music to trains or computers
- People with autism can also become attached to objects or parts of objects, like toys, figurines or model cars, or more unusual objects like milk bottle tops, stones or shoes
- An interest in collecting is also quite common
- These interests can help provide structure, order and predictability, and help people cope with the uncertainties of daily life
- They can also help people with autism relax and feel happy
Source: National Autistic Society