Meet six-year old Adam who lives in Perth with his mum and three sisters. Like many six-year olds, Adam loves to explore the world and it’s this love that caused his mum, Maria to experience possibly the worst day of her life.
Adam lives with Autism. That day, Maria turned her back while doing the laundry and he let himself out of the house. He went to search for a “lion” (the neighbour’s cat) “in the jungle”.
When she realised he was missing, she ran outside in a panic. Her blood ran cold …. he was nowhere to be seen.
For a terrifying 30 minutes of her life, she called to anyone she saw, asking: “Have you seen a little boy? He’s missing. Please help me. If you see him, his name is Adam and he’s autistic.”
All the horrific possibilities a parent could face, flashed through her mind. Was she going to find him dead – drowned, run over or abducted?
Thankfully, he was found safe and sound. Adam’s autism means his perception of danger is limited. He was focused on his expedition and just didn’t understand the danger he could have faced – or where he had wandered.
Shortly after that incident, Maria heard about Autism Assistance Dogs from a friend, whose son also had autism.
Comet & Adam Met
After contacting Guide Dogs WA, Adam was introduced to 2 year-old black labrador, Comet. The bond between them was instant.
The change in Adam – and the lives of his mum and sisters was extraordinary.
Before Comet, life was exceptionally difficult. Things that the rest of us take for granted – trips to the park or the supermarket, were a huge challenge for Maria. Adam had a tendency to run off without warning.
This left Maria faced with the decision to choose between the safety of her son or her daughters. He also frequently withdrew into his own world and was reluctant to talk.
Family Holidays Became Possible
The bond between Adam and Comet became so strong, that Adam no longer runs away from his best friend. This meant Maria and the rest of the family were able to enjoy a holiday and trip to Rottnest Island together as a family.
This was incomprehensible before Comet became the sixth member of their family. People often ask about the orange jacket Comet wears when they’re out and about – which brings Adam into the conversation and he just starts talking!
Comet sleeps in Adam’s bed, which brings comfort and reassurance and helps Adam to get a good night’s sleep. This reduces anxiety and stress, which means everyone is happier and life is calmer alround.
A donation from you today, could help these 5 children like Adam to live a more independent and inclusive life through a special dog like Comet. Please consider giving a gift today.