NORMAL--Five year old Tyler Auten is an active boy, whose parents say never slows down.
"He is a ball of energy, said Dad Tim Auten while holding his son. "Sit still bud."
While Tyler loves to play with toys and read books, his energy never seems to run out.
Even when it's time for bed.
His parents say, that's a side effect of autism.
Doctors diagnosed Tyler with a severe case at the age of two.
"Over the years we've battle with the whole sleep issue and the communication delays and the running," said mom Dawn.
The Auten's say they've worked with therapists to help Tyler's speech and behavioral delays.
But so far, their little guy still struggles.
So they've turned to "4 Paws For Ability," a non-profit organization that gives children like Tyler a trained service dog to help him every day.
"These animals are more than just tracking animals," explained Auten. "They keep them from doing things like yesterday, he poured a whole can of fish food into our tank and killed all our fish. This dog would have stopped that."
Since the family qualifies for the service, they can choose a German Shepherd, a Labrador, or a Golden Retriever.
"They'll actually be bound by a leash basically," said Auten.
But the family is faced with another challenge.
The dog costs $22,000 dollars.
While 4 Paws for Ability will donate $9,000...
"We have to raise $13, 000 as a family," said Auten.
Now they're is taking action to get the funding they need.
The Auten's are holding events throughout the community, and even created a Facebook page.
They say they're doing everything they can to ensure their child has a bright future.
"It'll give him some independence," said Auten. "It'll give us a little security, and peace of mind."
As donations come in, the family hopes Tyler will be one step closer to not only having a lifelong companion, but also having a lifetime of opportunity.