Derek Anderson

Posted by & filed under Make a Dream Come True.


We are the Anderson family.  We live in Sugar Grove, IL with our two sons, one of whom is special needs. Our son, Derek, is diagnosed with Autism, OCD, ADHD and several other life altering diagnoses.

We adopted Derek at the age of 6 months from his 15 year old mother who felt that she couldn’t meet his needs at that stage in her life.  At 18 months he was diagnosed with autism.  As he has gotten older and certain behaviors are becoming more pronounced we feel like we need to find additional support for him.  After years of searching for the best treatments and therapies, we realized that a service dog would be the perfect solution for his needs.   4 Paws for Ability, a 501 c3 non-profit agency that specializes in training service dogs for children with disabilities, has already accepted our son into their program. On average, it costs $50,000 to train a service dog, and we need to raise $17,000 to help 4 Paws for Ability with the cost.

We are fundraising and asking for donations to help raise the required funds needed to obtain this service dog specifically trained to help Derek with a variety of tasks. Some of these tasks include: recognizing Derek’s behavior disruptions and at this point will step in to distract and disrupt these behaviors before they escalate into aggression and meltdowns. As Derek and the dog continue to bond it will provide stability, and a calm reassurance that the feelings of anxiety or fear are not needed because his trusted buddy is by his side. The unconditional love and inherent patience, an autism service dog can lend to Derek will help him throughout his whole life and when it’s time, make his transition into the adult stage of his life more secure.  The service dog will offer peace of mind to us parents as the dog will help prevent and protect Derek from wandering and any danger that he may find himself in as he has no concept of being in harm’s way.

Will you help us invest in Derek’s future? We have the following donation platforms set up for your convenience:

Thank you for your time in reading this and your consideration of Derek’s needs.  Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Derek’s mother, Brandie Anderson at