An 11-year-old high-functioning autistic boy named Alex has been having a tough go of life. He has seizures, depression, and anxiety. But his mom thinks a service dog will help him, and is doing everything she can to raise the money to get one.
The North Carolina boy hasn’t been officially diagnosed, but based on his behavior, Hope Cook strongly believes that her son is autistic. Combined with his other disorders, life can be a struggle sometimes.
“Our biggest challenge is Alex – you cannot change his routine,” she told WCTI 12. “Usually after you pick him up we have to come straight home. Alex likes to stay to himself.”
According to Lynne Choate, director of the Crystal Coast Autism Center, where Hope volunteers, a service dog could greatly help Alex.
“I have seen at the Crystal Coast Autism Center how it helps other kids that have disabilities,” Hope explained. “These dogs just brighten up the kids. They just light up like a Christmas tree.”
But service dogs are expensive, as they require intense training. The Cooks wish to raise $5,000 for the best dog for Alex, who is very excited about the prospect of his new friend.
“When he has a seizure, the dog will alert us,” Hope said. “It will help with his depression to have a companion.”