Help us change little Edee's life by fundraising for an Autism Assistance dog
This is Edee.
We hope this page could help change her life.
Edee is an amazing little girl facing some seriously big problems. At just 2, she was diagnosed with a cluster of related issues that make every day a mountain to climb: Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Sensory Process Disorder (SPD) and Hyper mobility.
Like us, you might not have heard of these problems before, so here's a sense of what life is like for Edee. She struggles with extreme anxiety, even in her own home. This means we can't leave her alone, even for a minute. We can’t just nip to the kitchen and pop a wash on or even make a drink, without Edee feeling panicked that she has been abandoned. To feel safe and stay calm, Edee has to have one of the few people she feels safe with, with her at all times. This puts huge pressure on family life.
Edee suffers from particularly extreme anxiety and sensory issues around meals and can only tolerate a very limited number of foods. This means her diet is really restricted, making it impossible to help her get the right nutrition. Edee’s struggles in processing the world around her also make it hard for her to settle to sleep and can leave her awake for hours every night. The exhaustion takes its toll on all of us.
Everyday tasks that we all take for granted, like going to the loo, sleeping and eating meals can feel so overwhelming for Edee that she shuts herself down from the world. This causes her anxiety to spiral up which can cause Edee to shut down or creates meltdowns that poor Edee finds very traumatic (and we do too). Every day can feel like a series of ordeals, one after the other - and that's just at home.
Life outside of the house is even more terrifying for Edee. New people, changes in weather, different noises, unexpected smells... fear of all these perfectly normal things prevent Edee from enjoying the carefree childhood that she so deserves. Even something simple like a trip to the playpark, which should be a lovely treat, needs to be carefully planned well ahead of time, to avoid too much noise or interaction that could cause massive panic. She is unable to be in a classroom with other children because it feels too overwhelming. She would love to make friends and share her interests and hobbies, but she struggles to navigate the complexity of friendships and the sensory overload that comes with being around other young children.
We are watching Edee become more alone in the world, completely dependent on her family and the few experts who have carefully gained her trust. Despite her best and bravest efforts, the future feels daunting. We are desperate to open new doors for her, to help her move from simply surviving her life, to thriving in it, in her own way.
The good news is that this is possible. We have found a way to help change Edee's life in a profound and powerful way. A way that will help her expand her horizons and feel more confident.
A way that is not about drugs or complicated technical equipment, but that instead has 4 paws and a waggy tail.
The creature best placed to help a child like Edee is a highly trained Autism Assistance Dog. A dog like this could not just become Edee’s trusted best friend, it could fundamentally change her life.
We are trying to raise the £10,000 it costs to fund both the dog and it’s extended 1 year of training to support Edee’s very specific and individual needs. Autism Assistance dogs have to be specifically and intensively trained to support their little human partners in everyday activities https://supportingpaws.co.uk/
A dog like this could provide Edee with reliable companionship and become her best friend. It could offer affection, sensory input, distraction through play - all helping to lower her anxiety and leaving her better able to cope with the world around her. Autism Assistance Dogs have public access training, so Edee's dog could go with her everywhere, a calm, constant presence at medical appointments, lessons or at the park. An Autism Assistance dog could help Edee manage her anxiety, build her self-confidence and have fun enjoying some of the simple, joyful activities that other children are able to take for granted.
Edee is just a little girl trying to do her best to navigate a big and bewildering world. She deserves the chance of a more independent and happier childhood. An Autism Assistance dog can help unlock the world for Edee and we hope that you agree that her potential makes this positive future one worth fighting for.
Thank you from Edee's Mum, Lauren Barlow-White