Oscars autism support dog

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Oscar is a truly wonderful 5 year old boy who brings joy to our family with a beautiful smile that can light up a room. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, has global developmental delay and is currently non-verbal. It is a lot of big words for such a little boy, but it essentially means that Oscar really struggles to interact with the world around him. At home, he can have explosive melt-downs. He doesn’t mean to, he can’t control these and you can tell that he doesn’t want to be upset. Sometimes these can last for hours and are really distressing for him. Due to the difficulties he has he struggles to regulate his emotions and tell mum and dad what has upset him. Outside of the house Oscar really struggles. He cannot understand how to interact with other children and really dislikes being anywhere that isn’t home. This means that Oscar finds it so hard to do things that a lot of people take for granted – going to the park, the beach, the zoo or even for some lunch or dinner in a restaurant.

We discovered Supporting Paws, a wonderful organisation who train autism assistance dogs, these dogs are highly trained to support children like Oscar. They allow children to access ordinary everyday things that Oscar struggles to do. When Oscar met one of the dogs as
part of the application process he was so excited and said he was “happy” and said “dog” lots, a huge achievement when Oscar has very few words. At one point Oscar became overwhelmed, the dog sensed Oscar was upset and responded to him calming him and resulting in lots of giggles. We were delighted to be accepted onto the waiting list for one of these wonderful dogs, a part of our family who will be treasured and loved by us all as well supporting Oscar.

We would be incredibly grateful for any support you can give us on our journey to helping Oscar become more independent and confident in the world.

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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