As Colemann grew, we realized he was not meeting milestones that most children meet at an early age. He would not smile or make eye contact. He finally started walking at about 3.5 years. We did not realize what was going on with him, however, until several years later. When we got the diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, and OCD it felt like our world was over.
Since then Colemann is speaking more now but with a severe speech impediment. He cannot do things that normal children can do like go to school, interact with others, or be around loud noises. He gets anxious around crowds of people. Although he is very smart, his learning disabilities and developmental function of only 7 years old, make it hard for him to attend regular school. He has been homeschooled for the past 3 years.
Despite all of these things, he is an amazing dancer. He attends classes in the afternoon almost every day of the week that are helping him find his place in this world. While he does go into classes by himself, it is necessary for mom to be right outside the door in order for him to stay in classes, since he is “attached at the hip”. He also has several “meltdown’s” a day that make it hard to get through the task at hand. Wandering is also a constant worry of mine. He does not understand the meaning of danger so must be watched at all times.
Thankfully, some angels have come into our lives by the name of 4 Paws For Ability. They are giving him an opportunity to have a service dog that will help him in his daily life. This dog will be specially trained to help him navigate this confusing and frightening world of Autism that he lives in every day. The dog will help him calm down and bring him back to reality during meltdowns. It will help to comfort him during the night when he wakes up screaming from night terrors. Even in sleep, he does not get peace from his disability. We will be able to tether the dog to him during trips to the store, outings, etc., so we won’t need to have a “death grip” on his hand.
A service dog would give much needed independence to him and peace of mind to his family. It will cost 4 Paws For Ability $22,000 dollars or more to train and place the dog that Colemann will need. Most agencies have long waiting lists but 4 Paws provides a valuable opportunity for families to help support the 4 Paws mission so they do not have to have a long waiting list. We are committed to raising $14,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission to qualify for our dog. 4 Paws is an outstanding organization that offers dogs to the kids who need them, to help them through the challenges of everyday life. Once we raise the funding, we will be placed in a class 12 – 14 months later, which is the time the dog is in training to learn those special skills that will benefit Colemann!
Any donations made towards this service dog for Colemann should be sent directly to, 4 Paws For Ability, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia OH 45385. Please make checks out to 4 Paws For Ability and make sure to write on your check memo line – In honor of Colemann Hout - so that we receive the points from your donation. ALL donations made are tax deductible as 4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. For more information on this incredible organization, you can visit 4pawsforability.org.
Thank you so much for your love and support,