At the age of 16 months, Vili’s life changed dramatically from that of a normal developing infant to ‘something isnt right’. Vili ceased talking and whenever he went out and about in public places, he would scream and cry unconsolibly. Vili was officially diagnosed, at the age of 2, with ‘Severe Autism Spectrum with no verbal communication or functional language development’
This year, Vili is turning 7 and his verbal communication is still at the level of a 9 month old baby.
He started primary school this year and attends Latrobe Special Development School. He loves going to school and his favourite day is Thursday because he has swimming lessons.
If you asked Leanne, his Mum, what makes Vili most happy and content, she would tell you Water. When Vili is either playing with water or submerged in it you can see that that is where he belongs, his existance belongs within water. He is most regulated when he is in the water. His entire persona changes and you get long glipmses of normality because that is where he is most comfortable.
Vili seeks deep pressure sensations alot through hitting, pushing, throwing, hugging, jumping, climbing; and his stamina, well lets just say from the moment he wakes he doesn’t stop.
Because of Vili’s difficulties in navigating the world, the plight for an Assistance Dog began. Vili has been fortunate enough to be accepted by Dogs for Kids with Disabilities (DKD), to be matched with an Assistance Dog.
Vili’s mother and extended family and friends are embarking on fundraising $25,000 to support the costs of training a dog specifically for Vili and his needs. The dog will be Vili’s companion, emotionally and physically. Everywhere he goes, the dog will go to; including sitting along side swimming pools while Vili does what he loves most.
Such a dog will genuinely be life changing. Both Vili’s, and that of his loving family.
The organiser of this campaign is Brian Vella, Leanne's cousin. All donations will be directly deposited into Vili's family trust (linked bank account), and will be provided to Dogs for Kids with Disabilities (DKD) when the goal is reached.
- Lyn Poholke
- Shell Brown
- Amay Cafè
- Scissor Tricks Hair Salon
- Monica McGrath
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