Weston is a strong, funny, persistent, and fiercely loyal 13 year old who was diagnosed with autism when he was 12. He is the oldest of 3 and has a passion for animals, music, video games, and swimming. Weston’s journey began before he was 2 years old with a significant speech delay. Through the years, diagnoses of auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, slow processing speed, and anxiety helped to paint the picture of the significant strength that Weston had to employ to get through each day. Years of therapies, school support with IEPs, and medical support have helped Weston, but he continues to live life at a baseline of fight or flight. Weston’s consistently high anxiety prevents him from doing many things, even the most basic in nature, or things that he enjoys.
Weston attended public school for many years and was able to “mask” while at school. Most teachers did not notice his struggle. He would come home and be completely exhausted or melt down from the significant demands of just existing at school.When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Weston was severely negatively impacted, and unable to access the curriculum. His family moved and he attended a special school for individuals with autism and learning differences, but even there, Weston’s anxiety was too high to allow him to be successful. Weston is now homeschooled and he is beginning to open up.
Weston loves dogs. We have a 4 year old pug named Max who sleeps with Weston regularly to help him to feel calm enough to sleep at night. Weston has asked for a service dog and hopes that a service dog will allow him to feel safe and secure enough to go back into the community and school. We hope that the service dog will help Weston co-regulate his nervous system so that his baseline level of fight or flight is significantly diminished. Weston will benefit from the sensory input as well as the deep pressure the service dog will be trained to provide. We look forward to seeing Weston grow and develop into the young man of great potential we know him to be. The service dog will help him get there.
You can also mail a check or money order to:
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids, 112 East Center Street, Berea, OH 44017
Please make a memo that your donation is for Weston