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An autism service dog for Claire

Hi! I'm Claire, I'm 24 years old and I need your help!


Soon I will be starting with a service dog training program. I will be training a puppy to become my service dog, and they will support me in my daily life. I am autistic, and on top of that I have several psychological issues. I am familiar with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, but thanks to my late diagnosis of autism and lots of treatments I am doing better with these issues. Unfortunately I do have a big relapse in my anorexia nervosa. 

Because of my autism and mental health issues, I find the day-to-day life an enormous challenge, and these issues have a huge impact on my life. The autism diagnosis has put some puzzle pieces in the right place, but the diagnosis also means that I have to start trying to live with my disability, as autism will never 'go away'. At the moment I am strongly dependent on my personal autism coaches and my partner. A service dog will improve my independency a lot. The training program and the puppy cost a lot of money, this is why I've started a crowdfunding to try to fund the costs. I'd like to explain to you why a service dog would be very beneficial for me.


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- I get overstimulated very quickly due to my autism, which can lead to meltdowns or shutdowns. I have shutdowns quite often: my head is overflowing and I completely shut down, can't talk or communicate, sometimes even moving is impossible, sometimes I hurt myself (unintentionally and unwanted), or I'm extremely upset. I'm not in contact with the world around me. A service dog can learn to react on changes in behaviour and emotions. They can warn me, so I can get out of the overstimulating situation before I shut down. The dog can also learn to support and comfort me if a meltdown or shutdown does happen. They can get me out of a shutdown much faster. That'd be such a relief!

- I don't get outside of my house very often, and especially not in public places like a supermarket, pharmacy, shops, public transport or other social places. Overstimulation causes some dangerous situations, mostly at public places or in traffic, and that's really terrifying. With a service dog by my side I would be confident enough to go outside more often, and they will give me safety. The dog is allowed to go anywhere, and signals overstimulation before I do, and they can safely lead me out of situations. 

- When the service dog is fully trained, I'd like to go to school again. Physically going to class is impossible for me now, as I have to be continuously alert for possible overstimulation. The social aspect of school is also too much for me, which leads to overstimulation. Going to school is practically impossible for me now. If the service dog would be there for me to watch over me, I can fully focus on studying.

- I rarely see my friends because it costs me too much energy to see them, especially when it's not at my house. With a service dog I will be more confident to get outside and see my friends more. They will also be a great support for me at those times. 

- In situations where I'm non verbal, the service dog can still be of great support for me. They will be able to understand me through body language, so verbal commands won't be necessary. 

- I will be able to go grocery shopping, go to a terrace, or to someone's birthday with my service dog. These are all situations I'm currently avoiding. 

- During the program I will be learning a lot about my boundaries and how to step up for myself/ourself. When training a dog, you have to be persistent in setting your own boundaries. 

- I struggle with hyperfocus a lot: I can be fixated on a task/activity for hours and hours. This is problematic for me, as I sometimes can't get out of it by myself and cross my own boundaries. A service dog can get me out of this state.

- The service dog can wake me up in the morning or after a nap, when I can't seem to wake up by myself. Due to extreme fatigue and frequent overstimulation, I have a really hard time waking up, even though I sleep enough. 

- Now I'm having a hard time eating, a service dog would be of great support during eating moments. The dog also can smell low blood sugar, and warn me on time to eat before I get dizzy.

- A service dog would give feelings of safety, confidence, distraction and fun. 

- Just by owning a dog I would get a lot of structure in my life, which is what would help with my autism. 


And above all, the service dog would be my best friend for life❤️ My therapists and I have high hopes a service dog would improve my quality of life a lot. It would make such a big positive change.

The training program is very expensive, all costs together would be about €15.000. Unfortunately this isn't covered by insurance or funded by my local authority. I have been saving up for this for quite a while, but I'm not able to get all of the money together. I'm hoping with this crowdfunding to make it possible to start with this project and change my life for the better. A donation would help me out so much, however small or large amount! If you'd like to help me in another way, you can do that by sharing my page or crowdfunding!

Thanks so much for reading!


Donating is possible trough my GoFundMe or an open Tikkie. Be aware that GoFundMe gets a small part of your donation as a fee. Best is to donate per Tikkie.

Every profit I get of my webshop also goes straight to the funding of my service dog. You're also helping me a lot by placing an order. Ofcourse the costs of the materials will be put off of it. Would you like 100% of your money to go to my service dog? You can order a portrait or photo illustration!

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