News

Family ask for support

HELP NEEDED: Vanessa McPherson with her son Fergus who has autism and is in need of an assistance dog.
HELP NEEDED: Vanessa McPherson with her son Fergus who has autism and is in need of an assistance dog.

EVERY child wishes for a puppy.

But four-year-old Fergus McPherson desperately needs one.

Having been diagnosed with autism in July last year, a specially trained dog could help improve the child's day-to-day activities.

So when his mother Vanessa McPherson heard about Smart Pups, an assistance dogs program for children with autism, she decided to apply.

The only problem now is finance.

To purchase the dog for Fergus, his family must pay a total of $10,000 - a sum they simply don't have.

The McPhersons are now seeking community donations.

"Doing simple tasks with Fergus can take some time," Mrs McPherson said.

"Fergus has sensory issues which is why he is on a very limited and restricted diet, because there are a lot of things he won't eat because of the colour, the texture or the smell.

"He also isn't a very good sleeper and sometimes it can take more than two hours to get him down.

"But even just day to day tasks like toilet training and doing up his shoelaces are taking longer than usual."

In the same way guide dogs assist people, assistance dogs are trained to guide a child suffering with autism through their daily routines.

The dogs have also proven helpful in lowering a child's stress level.

Mrs McPherson said the assistance dog would help Fergus learn to be more independent.

"We have asked for a dog for Fergus who will interrupt some of his repetitive behaviours," she said.

"The dog will sense when Fergus is upset or frustrated, and will place its head in his lap to calm him down.

"But we also hope the dog will be able to help Fergus get to sleep and stay asleep.

"We have also asked for a dog which will be trained in tracking, so if Fergus does get away from the dog and disappears, the dog will be able to find him."

In a bid to help, Mrs McPherson's sister Tory Jackson will be selling discounted stationery office supplies to businesses in Logan, with proceeds going to Smart Pups.

"I was thinking of how I could help raise money for my sister, and the only avenue I could think of was through my work in stationery," Mrs Jackson said.

"I have got small stationery items for home offices and university students and larger equipment like shredders, laminators, desks and filing cabinets for large businesses.

"People who will be buying these items will directly be helping Vanessa, Fergus and the puppy.

"I have it easy, so I am more than happy to help out my sister because she is the one that has a long term commitment to her son to get him through the normal stream of life."

If you would like to make a donation email tory.darrin@gmail.com.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Passenger dead, driver hurt as car hits power pole

The scene of the crash. Picture from Channel 7

Woman dies in crash south of Brisbane

Five men charged over alleged torturing at mechanic shop

Alexander Francis Pasquill, 24, coming out of the Southport Watchhouse.

The victim claimed he was taken from his home by up to 16 people

Councillor's $180k stealing charge hits court

Logan City Councillor charged with $180,000 theft

Local Partners

Car stolen from business

Police would like to talk to them in relation to a crime in Logan.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!