A South Wootton couple are raising funds to give their eight-year-old son who has ADHD a lifeline.
Rachael and Jack McLellan, of Deas Road are trying to raise £7,000 to buy an assistance dog for their son Ben.
Despite having twin brother Christopher, and older brother Peter, 10, Ben’s condition has left him struggling to play with other children.
“The older the twins get, the bigger the gap between them. Ben is in his own little bubble. Yet he’s terrified of being by himself,” said Mrs McLellan, who is an A&E receptionist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
The twins, who go to Whitefriars Primary School in Lynn, were born eight weeks premature and spent their early weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Albeit delayed, the boys met their developmental milestones, but Ben was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago.
Mrs McLellan explained: “He gets sensory overload. For him walking down the High Street is like a disco. He never stays still.
“Ben also doesn’t go to sleep easily. Most nights he is up until 11 or 12 o’clock. He struggles to process things and then it all gets too much for him.”
However, when she recently stumbled across a story online, Mrs McLellan realised her son could benefit from an assistance dog.
“It was a random video on Facebook. At the end of it I was in tears. If we could get a dog which could do half those things what I saw that would be amazing,” she said.
Mrs McLellan said an assistance dog would give Ben the companionship he craves and help him to cope with things outside of his normal routine.
“This dog will really help him with things that are part of his routine but also those out of routine,” she said.
“He struggles, for example, at the supermarket with all the noise and colours but having a dog with him will give him something to focus on and make these experiences less stressful.
“Ben knows we want to get a dog but he doesn’t fully understand why. He knows he is different from the other children but he likes that and the other children accept Ben for who he is.”
To officially kickstart the fundraising drive, a fun day is being held on Saturday, July 14 at South Wootton Village Hall at noon.
There will be craft activities for children, refreshments, stalls and a raffle.
The Church in the Woottons is holding an account for the appeal and donations can be made to The Church in the Woottons Parochial Church Council.