For the love of Marshall & Elijah

See more videos, pictures and updates on Marshall and Elijah’s journey on their Instagram page!

My heart is hurting.
Our 2 year old son, who we adopted through foster care, was recently diagnosed with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), ADHD, SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and other mood and behavior issues. Being foster/adoptive parents we knew the chances of getting a child with drug exposure and FASD was a possibility. We learned about it in our training and knew what we were signing up for, but nothing prepares you until you actually live it.

The more research I’ve done, the more emotional I become. My son has a brain disorder. A disorder that he will never grow out of. For the rest of his life Elijah will most likely deal with Hyperactive behavior, Difficulty with attention, Poor memory, Difficulty in school, Learning disabilities, Speech and language delays, Intellectual disability, low IQ, Poor reasoning and judgment skills, sleep issues, anger and sensory processing disorder.

There is no cure for FASD but research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development. We are lucky and blessed that he was diagnosed so young, but we have a long ways to go. He has started Early Intervention and after MONTHS on waiting lists, he has a therapist and has started therapeutic preschool!

Because Elijah cannot process things properly, he resorts to banging his head on the ground or any other hard surface. Due to his SPD, Elijah has zero fears. Doors must remain locked or he will run into the street, chairs must be on their sides or will will run on the table and countertops, and many other precautions have been made. Elijah screams, cries, throws himself on the floor and hits , pinches and bites others in order to make himself feel better.

I’m tired. Exhausted. Worn out. Overwhelmed. And so dang busy. I’m not sure how to balance life right now. Elijah takes SO MUCH work, but it’s not only him. Our other 2 kiddos and our foster child all have ADHD and are also a lot of work. Plus we have our 1 year old Great Pyrenees and my photography business. I have the desire to reduce added stress, but it’s hard to know where to cut back stress factors.

Marshall, if properly trained, would be a great companion and safety net for Elijah. Especially as he gets older.

We don’t have the thousands of dollars it takes in order to train Marshall to be a therapy or service dog for Elijah. There are a lot of tiny stressors that have put me over the edge, which is why I’m now reaching out for help.

With $2495 would could have Marshall go to Elite Training Camp for 2 weeks through

After this class, we would get discounted prices to get his training as a service dog for Elijah.

Any extra funds would go towards future training for Marshall. If you’d prefer to pay through Venmo my user name is @WendyGAtkins

Thank you for your love and support!

To understand how a service dog benefits a child with FASD, please read about it on this link:

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Wendy Atkins 
West Jordan, UT
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