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William Potter

Hi, and thank you for reading our son, William’s, story. When William was about 20 months old, he was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum
Disorder). That was a hard thing to hear. Our first thoughts were, “Ok; now what?”

Kassie (mommy) dug in hard and figured out insurance for therapy, what type of therapies to use, and the best places to acquire therapy for William.

Over the years, we have found the most-effective therapies change as William grows. For about a year or so, we threw everything at treating William’s ASD. We tried ABA, feeding therapy, OT, and whatever else we could think of. The most unconventional thing we tried was surfing
therapy (there’s a foundation of professional surfers that takes kids surfing; it’s amazing).

After much trial and error, we decided to stick with ABA therapy and typical day care. That
seemed to work great.

William started going to school a few years ago, so we cut day care, but he still goes to ABA
four days a week, after school. We have recently seen massive improvement in his speech and
social interactions.

We have come to the realization that William will likely live with us forever. He is the sweetest
person we’ve ever known, so that doesn’t bother us (it’s kind of awesome, really), but more than
anything else, we want him to have a friend, and gain as much independence as possible. When
we looked into service dogs, we thought it really fit William’s advancement plan. We have a
dog now, but she’s just a typical dog.

Some friends of ours were accepted by 4 Paws for Ability to receive a service dog for their son.
They have the nicest, positive stories about what the dog (named Mimosa) can do and how their son reacts to Mimosa. These stories inspired us to get moving on getting approved for William’s service dog. We were recently approved! We couldn’t be more excited, and we’ve started planning fund-raising activities (benefit concerts, workouts, and a little begging). These dogs take a couple years to train, and require a few weeks of hands-on training for us, so they’re pretty pricy (around $23,000).

If you ever meet William, he will quickly become one of your favorite people on Earth. As I
mentioned earlier, he is so sweet and funny. While we have never had a typical conversation
with him, we have found a way to communicate with each other; it’s all through patience and
love. Even though William’s ASD limits him with some things, I think it’s also keeps him free
and happy. He loves swimming, school, reading, and building Legos; we think he will add his
new canine friend to this list.

If you want to help William, you can donate directly to 4 Paws for Ability. Be sure to write
William’s name on the memo line. Mail checks to . . .

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of William Potter
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385

Contribute to William’s dog below