From: Stanford, KY
Program: Service Dog for Child with Autism
Minimum Goal: $8,000 | Amount Raised:$25
My name is Mary Fox and I have a beautiful boy named Blaze. Blaze is 9 years old and like most 9-year old’s, he loves to play on computer and shoot bow and arrow. However, Blaze isn’t like most 9-year old’s.
Blaze began to have health and behavioral issues that were extremely abnormal for a child his age, and within the past 2 years, he has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, anxiety, mood disorder, all coupled with sensory issues. He is a high functioning autistic child, but when you mix in the other disorders they complicate his life. The anxiety consumes him from dawn until dusk, making many normal tasks extremely difficult for Blaze. He struggles to be alone, even in his own home, and this includes using the restroom or even taking a bath. He can’t be away from home for long periods of time before he starts to become antsy and panicky, leading to emotional outbursts. He has irrational fears of someone breaking into our home and compulsively locks the door before we leave the house or go to bed. This leads to an extreme fear of the dark, where the only things that comforts him is holding someone’s hand. As you can imagine, this also means he sleeps very little, if at all, which amplifies his behavioral issues and aggravates his already delicate emotional balance.
Blaze has not yet been able to engage in normal social interaction because of all these things, so he has trouble making friends. He can’t effectively communicate his feelings which leads to frustration and tantrums on Blaze’s part, as well as hurt feelings. Unfortunately, he can become aggressive during these times because he cannot adequately process his emotions. This is all couple with the sensory issues I mentioned previously. This means that Blaze is extremely sensitive to specific touch and sounds. For events, such as church, Blaze has to wear noise cancelling headphones so he isn’t overwhelmed by the loud noises from the service.
We are desperate for relief for our son, which we believe can only be achieved by obtaining emotional growth and developing healthy, normal relationships with the world and people around him. We believe we have found a solution, which is why I am writing this story. The training of service dogs currently expands far beyond companions for the blind and deaf, and companions for autistic and/or emotionally unstable people have been shown to have incredible impacts on their partners. My husband and I truly believe that a service dog can be extremely beneficial the growth, development, and safety of Blaze.
NEADS offers highly trained service dogs for autistic individuals, where each dog is trained to fulfill the needs of a child with autism. We have been accepted into the waiting list and have pledged to raise $8,000 for the NEADS organization. If you feel compelled after reading our story, donations would be much appreciated. We are desperate for Blaze to have a chance at a normal life. We truly believe that NEADS can help provide him that with a service dog.
*NEADS clients pledge to raise a minimum of $8,000 for the organization, thus allowing us to fulfill our mission of placing Service Dogs with individuals who benefit from them the most. Each donation ensures that NEADS will continue to change lives with our World Class Service Dogs.
On our donation form, pick the name of the client you want to sponsor under the Program Menu and check whether or not we can share your contact information with the client. Client fundraising totals are manually updated weekly (not automatically) which allows 100% of each donation to be allocated towards each client’s fundraising goal.