Jackson Russ

Posted by & filed under Make a Dream Come True.

Jackson Russ is eight years old and enjoys music, his iPod, drawing, swinging and cooking.  Jackson was born into a home where drugs, alcohol and tobacco were abused regularly.  He went into foster care and moved into our home when he was six months old along with his biological half-brother Jonah, who is one month younger.  Both boys were born with cocaine in their systems. Jackson was just over 17 months old when his adoption was finalized.  

Jackson began having problems by the time he was two.  He wasn’t speaking yet and seemed to be regressing.  We immediately got him involved with early intervention and when he aged out a year later he was placed in public preschool with an Individualized Education Program.  We have been told by numerous professionals over the years that our son, Jackson Russ, is a “very complicated case.”  He has seen several therapists and been through two intensive in home therapies.  He is officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Severe Anxiety.  There has been consideration given to Bipolar Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, but no official diagnosis yet. 

Developmentally, Jackson can be found anywhere between 18 months and 8 years old depending on the day or the moment.  Academically, he is far below an 8-year-old level.  Jackson is repeating first grade this year (2018-2019) but is performing at an early kindergarten level.  He becomes nonverbal at times of dysregulation and resorts to grunting and pointing.  He is on six different medications twice a day to help him with ADHD related behaviors, aggression, sleep issues, and mood swings.  He experiences meltdowns and episodes of extreme anxiety where deep pressure therapy seems to help. He engages in many dangerous self-harming and attention seeking behaviors. Depending on Jackson’s developmental age at the moment, he will bolt when getting out of the car in a busy parking lot or run towards the road.  He will also wander off when he’s not paying attention. An Autism Assistance Dog will significantly improve Jackson’s quality of life and help keep him safe.

It costs 4 Paws between $40,000-$60,000 to raise and properly train a service dog and we are responsible for $17,000 service fee.  If you would like to donate towards Jackson’s Autism Assistance Dog, you may donate by visiting www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now/ and including Jackson’s name in the “Description” field.  To donate by mail, please make checks payable to 4 Paws for Ability and mail to the address below.  Please make sure to write “In Honor of Jackson Russ” on the memo line.  

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Jackson Russ
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385

Thank you for supporting our son Jackson!

David & Jen Russ