Dontae is non-verbal and has struggled to communicate since he was born. He was recently diagnosed with autism and ADHD.
Dontae is non-verbal and has struggled to communicate since he was born. He was recently diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Marian Faa

DONTAE'S DREAM: $20k puppy could change Warwick boy's life

PUPPIES as clever as the one Dontae needs don't come cheap.

Time is running out for parents Terry and Danielle Young as they try to square away the $20,000 needed to buy and train the pet that will help keep Dontae safe as he grows older and more difficult to control.

The six-year-old Warwick boy is learning to live with a range of problems which include ASD, ADHD and sensory processing disorder.

Prone to anxiety attacks, meltdowns in public places and drawn to chasing moving cars, MrsYoung worries her son's disorders will put him in physical danger.

She said her biggest fear was that Dontae could get lost or run away.

Parents Terry and Danielle Young have their hands full with their eldest child Dontae and his younger siblings. The Warwick family hopes a Smart Pup will help them manage Dontae's autism and ADHD as he grows older.
Parents Terry and Danielle Young hope a Smart Pup will help them manage their son's autism and ADHD as he grows older. Marian Faa

"Having a dog trained in tethering and anchoring would minimise the risk," she said.

The smart pup would also help calm Dontae in the event of a meltdown.

Mrs Young said the 12-month training process could only begin when all the money had been raised.

The family has launched a fundraising campaign to speed up the process.

"He is becoming stronger and faster, which makes it difficult," she said.

To donate, head to Dontae's Smart Pup page.