Leonardo is an endearing 4 year old boy with beautifully captivating eyes, an infectious smile and contagious laugh. At first glance, he appears just like any other happy 4 year old. However, with some time, you’ll notice that Leo cannot verbalize any of his wants and needs. He has difficulty following commands, dressing himself, using the restroom by himself, he is easily overstimulated, he has no sense of danger and is prone to eloping. This is because Leo has autism.

After a very long journey consisting of several therapies, many tears and dozens of doctor visits, our families began the process of searching for a service dog. Very quickly, we found Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA). The mission of ASDA is to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living with autism, and their families, by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs. After a very thorough application process, we were approved to receive a dog. The waiting time is quite long for a service dog, so we are hoping to fund as quickly as possible to ensure a more speedy placement.

After thorough research on service dogs, and how they truly do to help kids and adults with autism, we have realized how desperately we need one. A service dog will be able to help Leo with a range of challenging experiences, from anxiety in public, to eloping, to eating and possibly even speaking. We have done everything we know possible to reach out to our local community centers, autism resource foundations, friends and family, local churches and more.

We are hoping to reach more people each day. With your support, we will hopefully be able to bring a loving service dog into Leonardo’s daily experiences and help him begin a new life!

Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee has graciously partnered with Passion Academy to release a special ‘Passion’ donut that will be available in their Midlothian, Parham, Lombardy and Virginia Beach locations on Monday, May 29, 2017. Proceeds of the ‘Passion Donut’ will help fund a service dog for Leo!

You can also make a donation by completing the form below. All donations will go directly to the general ASDA fund.

ASDA was founded in 2002 by Priscilla Taylor. Incorporating her love of dogs and her background in special education, she formed this non-profit, community-based organization to aid children with special needs.

Thank you in advance for your support,
The Perez Family

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