ROCKHAMPTON'S Kathy Bailey says she wouldn't change her son Lochie for the world.
"He's my boy, I wouldn't want to ever change him, because it takes away from who he is," the proud mother said.
Lochie, who has Down syndrome, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and severe anxiety faces many challenges every day.
But his family are rallying behind him to try and raise $15,000 to get the nine-year-old a Smart Pup Autism Dog.
Autism Dogs are specifically trained and matched to each child's needs which takes a lot of time, training and resources.
One dog costs $25,000, with $10,000 covered by Smart Pups.
Kathy said they would try anything to make Lochie's quality of life better.
"He can't cope with a lot of things; he doesn't like to go out and he can't even cope with people being here at home, even if it's his siblings, he runs and hides," Kathy said.
"To go to swimming lessons he has to wear his invisible mask so no one can see him, because he can't handle the sounds and lights.
"He's non-verbal, so we don't know what he's feeling or thinking."
Lochie also has a younger sister Gracie who has Down Syndrome and the two share a special bond Kathy said.
"She's really good with him, she talks to him if he's upset, it's beautiful," she said.
Having tried different avenues to help Lochie, Kathy said she'd heard a lot of positive things about Smart Pups.
"I've spoken to people who have got a Smart Pup for their child with very similar issues and within 12 months they've seen such a huge change," she said.
"We've done so much research and out of sheer desperation we're doing this because we're trying to do what's best for Lochie. So we've got to try this as well because we don't want to look back and say, well we could've done that."
If you would like to get involved, donations can be made to - BSB 034198, ACC 415185, NAME Smart Pups and REF lnbailey (make sure to include the ref lnbailey to help Lochie).
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