TO most people it was a broken, old washing machine.
But for Alex Turner, who turns 11 tomorrow, it was his favourite toy.
Alex, who has Asperger syndrome, is fascinated by washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers.
His ideal day out is a trip to the launderette to watch the washing machines and tumble driers.
But Alex, of Crosland Moor, was distraught when his favourite Hotpoint washing machine was stolen from his grandma’s garden last week.
Alex, who attends Moldgreen Primary School, has been entranced by kitchen white goods since he was six, his grandmother Mavis says.
He can spend hours at a time investigating the machines, changing the programmes and settings.
Now Alex, who also enjoys cartoons and computer games, is looking for a replacement.
Mavis, 77, said: “He loves them because they spin. He loves the pumping sound and all the switches.
“He can go into the kitchen at teatime and you won’t see him until bedtime.
“He loves to operate them as well. Whether you want your washing done or not, he wants to do it! It’s his whole life.
“He was absolutely distraught when the machine was taken and he locked himself in the bathroom and sobbed and sobbed. He couldn’t understand why anyone would want to take it.
“Whoever took it might have thought he was doing me a favour, but he could’ve asked my permission.”
When Alex grows up he says he wants to design a washing machine and own a launderette.
He added: “I never enjoyed them so much when I was younger. But when I was six I started to enjoy them so much.”
Have you got an old washing machine for Alex? Give us a call on 01484 437774.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. Like other types of autism it is a lifelong condition.
People with autism find it more difficult to read people’s emotions and communicate than people without the condition.
People with Asperger syndrome can develop an intense, sometimes obsessive, interest in specific things. From this they can develop an exceptional knowledge in their field.
With encouragement, their interests and skills can be developed so they can study or work in their favourite subjects.