HAINES CITY, Fla. — A Polk County family is getting creative to raise money so their son living with autism can get a much-needed service dog.
Liam just turned five and his mom said he is spunky and loves to make people laugh. But autism makes life challenging.
“Everyday tasks that seem super easy for us is extremely difficult for him and that’s where he struggles," said Amber Stephens.
Liam works with therapists almost daily and his mother said he’s improved so much.
“You can ask him something he wants now. 'Do you want milk?' And he can say yes or no. Eight months to a year ago it was a guessing game," Amber said.
But his parents said what will really help him in the years to come is a service dog.
The dog can calm him down when he is facing a meltdown, keep him from getting in dangerous situations, and even track him if he runs off.
“Sadly, so many stories of autistic children wandering and then they find them when it’s too late. And that thought alone is terrifying, I’m going to get emotion. It’s terrifying.”
But coming up with the $17,000 price tag for a service dog and all the required training isn’t easy.
That’s why Amber started making slime. She said slime therapy helps children like Liam with sensory input issues involving touch and smell.
“There’s like 13 different textured slimes so it’s not just your typical gooey slime that people think of. There’s actual butter texture, icy texture, jelly texture.”
It will take selling a lot of slimes to get the money, but Amber is working hard. And one day she hopes to see Liam thriving.
“We want to get there as soon as possible because this dog is going to change his life.
For information about the special slime, visit https://slimetherapyforpaws.com/.