06 Jan Thurrock ‘Mum of the Year” raising funds for support dog for her son with autism
Seven-year-old Tyler Semple has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and Tourette’s Syndrome, and is currently being investigated for pica (the desire to eat strange things). He also struggles with his mental health.
Mum Charley-Anne, 29, who suffers from multiple pain disorders and is a wheelchair user, has spent the last six weeks raising funds for an autism support dog from charity Supporting Paws. She said:
‘Tyler lives at home with me, his Dad Danny, 31 and his little sister Annabella, 6, who also has a diagnosis of autism. He is very loved. He’s also very cheeky, very clever & ever so empathetic. Tyler doesn’t sleep well, at all, his brain struggles to shut off. Due to medical issues he wakes throughout the night and I have to be alert and keep him safe. He will eat anything & everything if he gets the chance, from dog poo to used tissues.
‘He will run off, run out, in front of cars, out of windows, we literally have to watch him every second and it’s very demanding. Of course that’s my job & I love being his Mummy but an assistance dog could have a great impact his life. It could make his life easier for him. It would also benefit us and his sister who has her own needs and often struggles for the limelight with her brother around.
‘These dogs are specifically trained to assist those on the autistic spectrum. They can encourage social skills, help someone like Tyler develop a sense of being needed and achievement, and interrupt damaging repetitive behaviour. They can also help reduce anxiety and fight/flight behaviours – this would be a huge positive for Tyler’s development, social interactions, independency and anxiety.
‘Simple tasks like getting dressed or washing his hands are skills Tyler just hasn’t mastered yet. However he can recall number sequences and coding patterns perfectly. An amazing little brain, just sometimes it can be too much to regulate for him. It’s amazing how calm he is around animals – at my Mum’s house he’ll happily go and sit in the dog bed with her dog for ages.
Charley-Anne was recently runner up in The Sun’s Mum of the Year competition, after being nominated by husband Danny, 31. She and Tyler were also featured in a Channel 4 documentary ‘Emergency Calls’ when Tyler, aged 5, managed to call an ambulance to help his Mum when she fell unconscious.
The family has raised 87% of their £10,000 target in just six weeks through donations and raffles, and now needs around £1200 more to hit their goal.
Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Semple family in their fundraising and they have done and amazing job to raise so much money so quickly. We hope they can hit their target soon so that Tyler and his family can benefit from the help a support dog can offer as soon as possible.’
The Semple family are being supported by Tonbridge-based Tree of Hope, a charity which helps families fundraise for children like James with healthcare needs. To donate to Tyler’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/super-dog-for-my-super-son-tyler/
For more information about Supporting Paws visit https://www.facebook.com/assistancesupportingpaws/