Solving Jackson's Puzzle

Jackson looks like every other 2 and 1/2 year old little boy on the outside but in reality he struggles with an invisible disability every day. He has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (moderate to severe) and Sensory Processing Disorder.

Our wide eyed little guy takes on the world at a million miles an hour. Constantly bombarded with a plethora of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. Where you and I can filter these out, Jackson cannot. We all know from a non-autistic perspective, that the world can sometimes be too much. For Jackson it is magnified. With autism, the world is too much for him most of the time. So what happens? Jackson melts down. The world has to be in perfect order, or he melts down. There are too many lights; too many bells; too many threads of his shirt brushing against his skin. It's all too much and Jackson melts down.

Jackson can only speak a few words. He does not understand social cues, facial expressions, emotions, etcetera. What does this mean for him? When he needs food, drink, to potty, is hurt, and all the other things a typical child needs and wants he points as we guess what he needs. Do you need a drink? Are you hungry? Do you need to potty? Sleepy? We empty the fridge, cupboards, and toy boxes trying to guess what he needs. With every incorrect guess on our part the more frustrated we all become. And Jackson melts down.

Jackson loves to run and explore. He is a curious child.
It's a blessing to see the wonder in his eyes when he encounters something new, but Jackson doesn't understand danger. He wanders without a care in the world. It doesn't matter what we tell him. The fire is hot, he reaches in anyway. It doesn't matter that we say stop. Jackson has to cross the street. It is innocence at its best. He just wants to see, or touch, or be near, but he doesn't understand that there is danger in the world around him. Again, not only could it be dangerous for him to wander off or bolt into oncoming traffic because he sees something he likes but it also causes a meltdown when he is stopped.

So what is this melt down you keep hearing about? Imagine your child running around, throwing himself around, hitting his head off of walls and floors, kicking, hitting, biting, and pinching anyone who gets too close including himself. He's screaming, crying, throwing objects at everyone in his path. He's pulling his hair, plugging his ears, and you cannot seem to help him. It's heartbreaking and exhausting for everyone involved.

Now imagine there was a way to help Jackson with these daily struggles. Guess what? There is! Autism Service Dogs!!!

Not only can service dogs provide an overall calming effect for Jackson, there are a number of tasks his dog can be taught. These tasks include finding Jackson if he gets lost, serving as a stationary ballast in the case of he tries to wander away, and providing redirection from repetitive or self injurious behaviors among other tasks.

When paired with a service dog, children on the autism spectrum often have improved sleep patterns, increased social interaction and better ability to express themselves.

Now you might be thinking, "well how can I help?" You can DONATE today. If you have $1, $100, $1,000 - hey even a penny off the street that you can spare - we will take it because it all adds up.
  • Melinda Ramsay 
    • $82 
    • 77 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 78 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 80 mos
  • Rhiannon Mikkelson 
    • $10 
    • 80 mos
  • Jackson's Quarter Auction Benefit 
    • $2,480 (Offline)
    • 80 mos
See all


Kayla Brunner Haigler 
Marshville, NC
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