Helping Kayden on his quest for a service dog
At a young age we knew Kayden was different than other kids. He was not talking yet at the age of 2. He did not respond to voices or baby talk or even look at others as a baby. Kayden was diagnosed with Autism in February 2008 at the age of 2. At that time Kayden was not speaking and only lived in his world. He started speech therapy, occupational therapy and early childhood education. At the age of 3 ½ he was finally able to start applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy. Kayden finally began to interact, talk, and learn the things that 3 years should know. A year later he was doing fabulous he was meeting his ABA goals, was challenging his therapists and was starting to come out of the autism shell.
Throughout this time Kayden was extremely aggressive and when he would get upset it would be severe, unprompted and sudden. We decided to try some medications to help him get more out of ABA. He began medications and they really helped him. He “graduated” from ABA after 3 years (that is all that our state pays for) and he was doing well in Kindergarden with his medications.
Winter of 2013 it came to our attention that the high dose of medication was harming Kayden physically. Under the care of a doctor we attempted to lower his dose to one more appropriate for his size and age and it was found to have no effect. That is when we decided that medications were not going to continue to help him.
Summer of 2013 came and Kayden has regressed to a dramatic effect. Our little guy was gone again. His aggression returned, his sensory problems returned, his social awareness left, he would run away, going out in public became difficult, and his communication would come and go. Times got very tough and he was asked to leave a traditional summer camp.
We knew then we had to do something….but we did not know what.
A friend mentioned that they had received an autism service dog….hmmm we knew that our current dog (who unfortunately has since passed due to age) always had a calming effect on Kayden so maybe that would be a good idea. More research was needed. We researched different companies and exactly what a service dog could do to help Kayden. What we found was hope! That is when we found 4 Paws for Ability….they are dedicated to helping kids at all levels of autism. We learned from them how an autism service dog could help Kayden in public, help to not run off or wander into a parking lot, help him at home and teach him how to care for a dog.
Currently today Kayden has a hard time in public. He will run off or wander off at the store. Loud places make him anxious and bother his ears. We cannot visit anywhere that he will become over stimulated. At home it is a constant battle to get him to do the things that you would expect of an 8 year old. He is very aggressive to his brother and stimms a lot at home. Kayden has no friends and is not really social and only prefers to be at times with his parents or grandparents.
We have explained to Kayden about this dog and how it could really help him and he is so excited to get his dog. Please consider helping Kayden get the dog that he so desperately needs!
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a multi-purpose dog with Kayden. We are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach our goal with your help. If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include the name, Kayden Wilson in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Kayden Wilson, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.