An Assistant Dog for Sam

Meet Sam he is 9 years old fun loving boy with a great sense of humour. He loves spending time with family, listening to music, dancing and gaming.

Sam was born with sensory unilateral hearing loss, then at the beginning of this year he was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Along with this he has sensory processing difficulties and extreme anxiety/separation anxiety. This all has a huge impact on his day to day life. Simple every day tasks that we take for granted like getting up out of bed in the morning, getting dressed, the School run and leaving me (mum) is a challenge for Sam. Even going out somewhere fun like the park or to the beach he can find difficult, and lots of preparation and planning will need to be done before going. Life outside the house can also be challenging for him; meeting new people, noisy environments and crowds can be overwhelming for Sam. Sam relies heavily on lip reading which means he has to concentrate more which can make him tired. All of this has affected his confidence and has found going to school extremely difficult, due to this we made a decision to take him out of school and is now gradually getting back into Education through support at home.

We started dog therapy and saw how much Sam loved being around dogs and found them calming, along side this we saw his stress levels reduce. We then came across Supporting Paws, which train dogs to become assistant dogs. We have been very lucky and been accepted to have a dog placed with us, we feel it will help Sam gain independence and confidence. The assistant dog will help provide Sam with that much needed comfort and friendship, which will help him with self regulation and reduce his anxiety levels. To help reduce Sam’s anxiety the dog is taught to lie over him applying deep pressure to help sooth his anxieties. The dog will help with every day tasks and will be able to come to most places Sam goes, whether it be a medical appointment, to the shops or going on the school run.
All these disabilities Sam have are invisible disabilities, having the assistant dog with his jacket on will make people more aware of Sam disabilities enabling them to have better understanding especially if Sam is finding things difficult when we are out.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Sam. This is where you amazing people come in, any help or support towards Sam's dream would be greatly appreciated.

7.5% of all donations to Tree of Hope in relation to this appeal will be allocated to the general charitable purposes of Tree of Hope to cover our core operating costs.

If we raise insufficient funds, or surplus funds, then the funds will be used, if appropriate, to fund support for our child’s needs in accordance with Tree of Hope’s charitable objects.  If in those circumstances we are unable to use all or part of the funds for the benefit of our child in accordance with Tree of Hope’s charitable objectives, then any funds that cannot be used will be transferred to be used for the general charitable purposes of Tree of Hope.

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