A Denby mother is aiming to raise vital funds to help secure a four-legged friend for her autistic son and says that the pooch could be a potential “life-saver.”
Six-year-old Elian Gonzalez-Thomas suffers from autistic spectrum disorder and global developmental disorder.
Although he’s been accepted to receive an assistance dog, his mum Andrea needs to raise £6,600 to fund it.
Andrea told the Belper News: “A typical day with Elian is non-stop!
“He doesn’t sleep well, but still wakes with loads of energy.
“He has no spatial awareness and no sense of danger - anytime he sees an open space he just runs!
“This is not only very dangerous but it causes distress for my other son Jayme, who worries about his brother.
“Anything that can be climbed, will be climbed - including our 6ft garden fence, the furniture, walls, the shed, and his new favourite activity is climbing out of windows.
“He has to have constant supervision, as everything is a game including running out into the road.
“Elian has a smile that can melt your heart, but he rarely interacts with people and he has no social skills.
“His vocabulary is very limited and he doesn’t communicate.”
Andrea says that raising funds for an assistance dog would be a positive improvement on Elian’s day-to-day life.
She added: “An assistance dog would help to make life better for our whole family.
“Assistance dogs will help in so many ways. It can act as an anchor so he can’t run away or climb.
“It will stop him from running out into the road.
“It will make him aware of danger such as hot pans in the kitchen.
“It can also help him to sleep by being a steady, reassuring weight on his bed.
“In short, this dog could be a lifesaver.”
If you would like to donate to the fund, you can visit Elian’s justgiving page at: crowdfunding.justgiving.com/projectpaws.