Family hopes assistance dog will help boy cope

MEMPHIS Webb is a bundle of fun whose mop of red hair can be seen a mile away.

The six-year-old loves water, often visiting Lake Awoonga with his mum Rebecca, dad Brendan and elder sister Chloe, 16.

But Memphis suffers from several conditions, including autism, anxiety and ADHD that make life extremely difficult for him.

He struggles with adapting to change and daily life, running away frequently and expressing his feelings through violence.

The Webb family recently moved to Gladstone from Geelong in December for Mr Webb's work, making Memphis' behaviour worse.

"He isn't coping with the change and struggling in his new school," Mrs Webb said.

"He has about 20 meltdowns per day and he is extremely physical."

Mrs Webb said her son would bolt when he was overwhelmed with the smell of meat or cologne at a supermarket.

"Going to the shops is a nightmare. The last time I took him I lost him six times so we just don't go anymore," she said.

LOVES OUTDOORS: Rebecca Webb and son Memphis, 6, love going to East Shores for some fresh air.
LOVES OUTDOORS: Rebecca Webb and son Memphis, 6, love going to East Shores for some fresh air. Mike Richards

However, after reading Chase Standley's story in receiving a kobelco labrador service dog, Mrs Webb decided to do the same for Memphis.

"I saw Tamara's fundraising page and I praised her for what she did as I had never heard of an assistance dog before," she said.

"We are trying to fundraise to get the same breed and type of assistance dog as Tamara.

"We are hopefully getting a dog related to Chase's so they will be cousins."

So far the Walking with Memphis page has raised $2500 and the community has been helpful.

Mrs Webb said Memphis' school, Tannum Sands Primary School, had been fantastic in supporting his needs.

"They have been great. They made a tent for him when he needs time out," she said.

Mrs Webb is hopeful the service pup will enhance her son's life.

"We want to give him the skills to make it all better," she said.

"We hope the dog will be able to help Memphis in unfamiliar places and help him to approach other kids to make friends."

YOU CAN HELP: If you would like to donate money, contact Rebecca via email to rwebb23@yahoo.com.au or call 0431 648 000.



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