Jasper is a gorgeous 15-year-old; interesting, smart, funny and silly. He’s a sensitive soul too, sensible (rare in a teenager), gentle, loving and shy. As soon as he lets his barrier down though, he’s happy talkative – a joy to be around.
Jasper is also autistic. His has severe sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, chronic fatigue ,ADHD, anxiety, and a stammer.
Most kids at 15 find life hard. Jasper often finds it impossible.His preparation for adulthood and independence is very different to most people’s.
In a world that already has so many challenges for him, he often becomes overwhelmed and unable to cope.
Jasper’s mood and sense of emotional wellbeing has always been fluid. His emotional reactions to every-day situations can seem out of sync with what is happening around him. He is the most amazing young man, who inhabits a world that he doesn’t fully understand, which means he can appear to be Jekyll one minute and Hyde the next.
Jasper can be unpredictable and his mood changes quickly and without warning or any apparent reason. What might seem an ordinary everyday situation to a typically developing child can be stressful and scary for Jasper, and heartbreakingfor his family.
When he hits crisis point without warning, he goes mute and is unable to communicate his feelings, worries or pain. His way of showing what he’s feeling is through self-harm and lashing out. But Jasper so desperately wants to enjoy his life, family and friends without having to work so hard to negotiate the social expectations of him.
Coming to terms with a disability is hard for any family and we wish we could just take away his difficulties. We hoped as he got older he would grow out of these problems and his emotional regulation would mature, but as time goes on he has become more anxious and unable to handle his big emotions. But we will do our very best to give him all the love and support he needs to live the rest of his life as best he can. We’re figuring out every day how we can support his emotions and help him to communicate what he needs in a safe way.
We’ve been advised by psychologists that Jasper requires specialist ongoing support to help with the development of his identity as he matures and becomes more aware of the long-term implication of his special educational needs. Without wrap-around help and support Jasper is highly vulnerable and he is extremely likely to experience emotional regression. This would mean that his dream of independence would become almost impossible.
Thank goodness we no longer live in a world where people like Jasper are invisible to society, in institutions often far from their families. Being part of the community is everything to Jasper. He wants to have a meaningful life and to contribute to society.
He just needs a helping hand.
We’ve talked with Jasper about his needs and how we can help him and together we have a plan!
Jasper has always had a connection with animals, and he has a special affinity with dogs. They comfort Jasper in ways we can’t. He understands them and they understand him, without any judgement or expectation.
He has a very specific and particular love for German Shepherds and has gravitated towards them throughout his childhood and adolescence.
It’s been Jasper’s dream for a very long time to own a German Shepherd.
Psychologists believe owning and being responsible for a dog is highly beneficial for his self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. It would certainly benefit Jasper in more ways than one and he says he needs to feel protected, especially as he grows up and ventures out a little bit more.
We would like to bring Jasper’s dream alive and get a German Shepherd puppy for him. But not just to play with and have around the house. The dog will be really life-changing as an emotional companion service dog.
The puppy would live with a trainer for 12 to 18 months to have the intense training it needs to support Jasper in the way he needs to be supported, so he can be left safely and live independently as he grows older.
There are so many organisations out there doing great work to provide assistance dogs. We are in the process of
choosing our specialist trainer based on their expertise for their specific work they do with Autism. The provider we choose will find the right puppy, who will be trained to intercept Jaspers unregulated behaviour, help him to self-regulate, giving him the ability to live more Independently and to have a higher quality of life as he grows up.
Families, working environments and life in general is not predictable, and that is hard for Jasper. Having an assistance dog will give him stability and support to negotiate life much more easily than he does now.
Please help us any way you can by becoming part of Jasper’s independent future.
£12,500 will pay for residence at the trainer’s home for 12-18 months, accessibility and assistance training for the dog and handling training for Jasper and his family.
Together we can make Jaspers dream come true.
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!
You can follow Jasper’s fundraising journey on Facebook,
DonationsSee top donations
- Alyson Maskell
- Kirsty Houston
- Tinchou Wong
- anita lewis
- Ian Coote
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more