Saskatoon family finds hope in autism service dog

Saskatoon family has an online fundraising campaign to pay for the training and purchase of an autism service dog for thier little boy.

The Irwins are fundraising online to help thier 4 year-old son

Easton Irwin loves to play trains with his twin sister Rowan. (Britainy Robinson)
Playing trains in the living room with his siblings, it's one of the chances Easton Irwin has to just be a normal kid.  
The Irwin family (back row l-r) Brandon, Ailish, Easton (front row l-r) Rowan, Keaghan, Hudson (Britainy Robinson)

Irwin was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was two. Now at four, his parents are hoping to give him more of those normal moments. 

Easton's mother Ailish Irwin says after the diagnosis they immediately began to research ways to help him. "Unfortunately because we don't have a lot of funding in our province, we were told to just keep doing what your doing." Irwin explains, "We needed to know everything that was available to us."

Irwin came across National Service Dogs. The Ontario based company trains dogs to help autistic children with their safety, anxiety and socialization. "He [Easton]  just doesn't perceive our world and the noises in our world the same way you or I would," says Irwin. "I'm really hoping the dog gives him enough confidence to have a little buddy always with him. That it will give him confidence and he can gain independence." 

Now the family has been accepted to the program and there's just one more hurdle. The training and purchase of a service dog is $30,000. The Irwins have set up an online fundraising campaign and say they appreciate any donations they get.

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