Thank you for taking the time to read about our son Harrison and why we are asking for your help.
Harrison is our nearly 4 year old son. He has Severe Autism, is completely Non Verbal and has Global Development Delay and Sensory Processing Disorder.
Life is hard for Harrison. He is a beautiful boy but everyday things are a struggle for him and we spend most of our days helping him to cope with sensory meltdowns and his sheer frustration brought about by his inability to communicate his needs.
Many days it is just too hard to leave the house. Harry’s condition makes him highly sensitive to sound, smells, touch and crowds. This means that anytime we leave our home it can overload his senses and cause him so much distress he can’t cope. The only way he knows to handle this is to yell and scream and shut down. This is what is known in Autism circles as a meltdown. He is really saying “I can’t handle this, please get me out of here and keep me safe”. Harry also tends to run away so we have to use a harness for his own safety when we are in public. His development Delay means he is at the level of a 12-18 month old child mentally, so he has no concept of danger.
Our son requires constant deep pressure to get through his day. We give him this by squeezing him and applying the pressure he needs to regulate. Whilst he wears special compression clothing, it simply isn't enough, and without the deep pressure he physically cannot get through the day. He doesn’t sleep, finding it near impossible to sleep for more than a few hours each night. Naturally when Harry doesn’t sleep, we don’t sleep either, so it is a struggle for our whole family.
It has just been discovered that Harry has lost a lot of his hearing, and has Vertigo from issues with his Ears. He is now waiting to have surgery for that, whilst the ears are a problem he cannot do most of his Occupational Therapy that helped him regulate his body, as he gets dizzy and his head hurts with most movement. He is spending most of his day covering his ears and hiding, which is hard to watch as a parent.
But there is help at hand and that’s why we are asking for your support.
We have been accepted to receive an Autism Assistance dog through the incredibly generous charity SmartPups. This assistance dog will be utterly life changing for our son and for our whole family. The dog will be trained to sense when Harry needs deep pressure and provide it for him. It will help keep him safe and stop him from running away when in public and help him settle and sleep at night. This dog will be purpose trained to suit Harry’s specific needs and will provide him with companionship and make him feel safe and settled throughout his days.
Although SmartPups is a charity, it is in the vicinity of $28,000.00 and two years for SmartPups to purchase and train an Autism Assistance dog, so we have been asked to donate at least $20,000.00 toward the cost before we can receive Harry’s pup. Unfortunately this is not something we can fully fund ourselves. There are also ongoing costs and support needed for Harrison and his Pup.
We are reaching out to anyone who can help us with a donation so we can present our son with a companion who will make his days shine. Every dollar helps toward our goal.
On behalf of Harrison and our family we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and promise in turn to help the next family who needs help to obtain a SmartPup.
“By providing a loving and highly skilled canine companion for a child, our goal is to enrich each child’s life by increasing independence, safety, confidence, self-esteem, social interaction, life experience, happiness and well-being”
- Nabeel Khalid
- S Morgan
- Dave Hely
- Louise Russell
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