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George in search of his “Super Dog”
George is a 7 year old little boy who has faced a lot in his short time on earth. George was born perfectly healthy – or so we thought. His life started off pretty uneventful. He was a beautiful baby boy, perfect in every way, but within weeks of him coming home we began to notice some strange behaviors. George would laugh in his sleep. This does not seem so bad, we would find out years later that these were in fact his first seizures.
Fast forward a few years and George was developing fairly normally. He was full of life and energy. We noticed a few odd behaviors, and some developmental delays physically, but with his first steps we thought we were on the right track. George would often “ignore” people and do repetitive things without regards to others around him. His father and I considered this could be seizure activity but were assured by his pediatrician this was simply George being a difficult child. George became difficult to redirect and move from one activity to another. Again, with psychological intervention we were assured this was all from something called sensory integration disorder. We worked with therapists, doctors, teachers and family. Things would seem to improve temporarily, only to experience regression and and a trip back to square one.
This would bring us to George’s 3rd year.
George was at preschool on March 12, 2009 when I received a frightening call from his teacher, informing me he was non responsive, blue, frothing at the mouth and shaking. George was having his first Grand Mal Seizure. It occurred during nap time lasting just over 20 minutes. His EEG later showed halmark signs of a horrific syndrome, but before this diagnosis was discovered, he would be treated as a child epileptic. For the next year, we worked dilligently with docotors to find a medication that would work for George. We would find one, then suddenly its effectiveness would taper. He would seize during naps and at night. Eventually came another horrible Grand Mal, this time lasting 45 minutes. Frightening as it, was we knew if George made it out of it with his abilities in tact we would do everything in our power to prevent this type of seizure again.
The doctors continued tests. For another year we fought something we thought was a well known disease that could be easily controlled by the right medications. It turns out we were wrong. George developed something called atonic seizures; a type of seizure that stole my son for quite some time. By this point, he would have as many as 500 seizures a day, and his “big ones” at night. George was just about to turn six and by this time, slept with me and my husband nightly so we could catch the invisible devils before they became life threatening, as they so easily and often did. It was April 23, 2012 when his neurologist finally decided that George not only had Lennox Gastatut Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. He also would require a surgical implant to help control his seizures. Although the surgery was difficult, within 24 hours of having this unit turned on, it seemed we had found our saving grace.
Currently, George has continued to have seizures which began increasing again this past spring. After having 3 weeks of seizures that were classified as non-convulsive status epilepticus, George was hospitalized for 10 days and underwent several tests. This testing revealed he has a second rare disorder, this one being life threatening and for us, life altering. George has been diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disorder of complexes I, III and IV. Basically, he runs a a AAA battery compaired to your C cell.
George’s prognosis is unknown. We only know he continues to have seizures – some during the day, several at night. He has difficulty walking and is often very unstable, he has to have supplemental feedings through his Gtube, and requires 24 hour care. His dad and I do not sleep well because George still sleeps with us so we can catch those nighttime demons. George is also prone to those nasty seizures which are hard to distinguish as seizures. Non-convulsive status epilepticus is hard to identify with kids with Mito as they often have what are termed brown out periods. During this time the children are very lethargic and hard to arouse, similar to the non-convulsive status epilepticus.
I know George’s story is a lot to take in, and I hope that you can see why from a medical stand-point, a seizure alert dog would be helpful for my family, espeically George. We know that seizure alert dogs have their limits, but we also know that they can and have saved lives. George can benefit from what he refers to as his “Super Dog” in so many ways and I hope that after reading this you will further consider him for sponsorship.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a multi-purpose dog with George Lindeman. 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, George Lindeman in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of George Lindeman, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Army brat seeks seizure assistance service dog
We would like to introduce you to our son, Zane, who is 5 years old and a very energetic, charismatic, “Army Brat”. His father is an Active Duty Soldier serving in the United States Army since July 2000. Zane has always had a fighter, survivor personality with strong will and determination. Even throughout his pregnancy, there were numerous complications. From extremely low amniotic fluid; mom was bitten by a poisonous brown recluse spider 5 months into the pregnancy, and constant pre-term labor. When Zane was two years old, we were transferred to Fort Bragg, NC. Before his 3rd birthday he was admitted to Womack Army Hospital because of a severe virus, and high temperature fevers that caused febrile seizures. To this day when he has fevers, they become febrile seizures that are accompanied by Grand Mal seizures.
We noticed from the time he started walking that Zane walked and even ran on his toes. We were later told by his Orthopedic Surgeon that his Achilles Tendons were too short, causing him to loose balance, fall easily, and requiring him to wear leg braces daily. The summer of 2013, he was double casted for a month to stretch his legs naturally. Unfortunately it didn’t help stretch his legs, he still needs to wear leg braces daily and will more than likely need surgery later in life to correct the problem.
Zane had his first Grand Mal seizures at the age of 2, they came on daily basis. He was officially diagnosed with Genetic Multiple Focal Epilepsy by age 4. His neurologist told us Zane has had Epilepsy since 2 years old. He also has Staring seizures/Petite Mal seizures. Most of his seizures are Grand Mal seizures that almost always make him go unconscious and stops breathing requiring him to be sent to the hospital. His epilepsy was being controlled by medication for the first few months. Zane still has multiple back-to-back Grand Mal seizures, Staring seizures and Petite Mal seizures weekly to bi-weekly. Zane also has severe chronic migraines multiple times a week. His daily migraine medication help stop some of them; we also know they trigger his Grand Mal seizures.
On October 5, 2013, Zane had five Grand Mal seizures in under an hour where he stopped breathing was unconscious and unresponsive. Womack Army Hospital had UNC Children’s Hospital life flight him alone to Chapel Hill, NC where they admitted him for two days of rigorous testing thru EEGs, MRIs, CT scans, and blood work. Zane’s Doctors have increased his anti-seizure medicine dosages but he still has several back-to-back Grand Mal seizures weekly to bi-weekly requiring him to be ambulanced and treated in hospitals.
Zane does not have the normal life of a 5-year old kindergarten kid. He is very limited from activities in school for his safety. He has his own teacher’s aide with him nonstop, he cannot go to music, physical education, or play at recess. He does not walk well or for long distance walks; so he is getting a Convoy stroller/wheelchair and a Rifton activity chair for at home use and safety. Ninety-eight percent of the time, Zane is unaware of when he is going to have seizures. The constant Grand Mal seizures have made Zane very scared, he wants a dog to be able to alert him and everyone around him that he is having seizures.
The seizure assistance service dog will alert us to Zane having seizures, keep him calm when he recovers, rides with him in ambulances, doctor appointments, and hospital stays. The dog will help him with balance work for walking, standing and independence. The anti- seizure meds have caused side effects of hyperactivity, mood swings, and behavior problems. The dog will be trained to stop these unwanted problems by nudging, touch, distraction, etc. We cannot take away Zane’s medical problems, however; we can get a seizure assistance service dog to help him.
It will cost 4 Paws For Ability $22,000 to place a dog with Zane. 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 please help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now), or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In honor of Zane Cannon, 253 Dayton Avenue, Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Donations can also be made online through www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ZaneCannon
Heather & Matthew Cannon
Adam looking for a homerun in service dog
Hi, my name is Shonda Lucas and I want to tell you a story about a little boy, my little boy, Adam. From the outside Adam looks like any other five year old boy. He’s cute, he loves superheroes and playing in the park. He’s bright, energetic, loves kindergarten and playing baseball. His big, bright smile brings joy to everyone he meets.
Only, he isn’t like every other five year old. Adam was born with a virus (Congenital CMV) that left him with several different disabilities including: brain damage, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, developmental delays, behavior issues, sensory processing disorder, and lack of impulse control (to name a few of his challenges). He has meltdowns and Adam will run away when he gets overwhelmed by a situation.
Now imagine Adam, being able to go to the local grocery store without a meltdown because he has his professionally trained service dog with him who helps keep him calm. Imagine Adam having a few ‘feet’ of independence, being tethered to his dog walking through the mall and not riding in a stroller or wheel chair just so he doesn’t escape and run off if he gets overwhelmed. Imagine me, his mom, having a sense of security knowing that if he should run away his service dog could track him and find him quickly, quite possibly saving his life!!!!!
It costs 4 Paws for Ability an estimated $22,000.00 to train each dog they provide for children like Adam. Yes, you read that right, $22,000.00. It may seem like a steep price but when you KNOW that these dogs are trained to help an adult with Epilepsy go out safely into the community or that they help a Veteran work through their PTSD… when you KNOW how a trained service dog can give a family peace knowing their child has a loving, gentle companion and that the dog may be the only ‘living being’ a child with autism will relate to… When you KNOW a specially trained tracking dog could save a life, maybe even ADAM’S one day- that training is priceless!!
Adam has partnered with 4 Paws for Ability (a 503c charity) to raise $13,000.00, helping to allow 4 Paws for Ability to train a dog for a child or adult like Adam… In return for helping raise this money, 4 Paws for Ability will match Adam with his very own service dog!!!
Thank you so much for your willingness to help Adam and 4 Paws for Ability!
With my sincerest thanks!
Shonda Lucas – Adam Lucas’s Mom
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a multi-purpose dog with Adam Lucas. 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, Adam Lucas in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Adam Lucas, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Autistic boy looking for help with service dog
Jake Wells (4) is a loving and very energetic little boy. Like a lot of boys his age, he likes to explore, climb and run. But Jake is different. He has Autism and doesn’t understand when his safety is at risk. Jake is also considered non-verbal so he can’t tell you his name or where he lives should he become hurt or lost.
Jake’s parents Joanne and Matt Wells (Louisville, KY natives) became concerned about Jake’s development when he was a year old. Jake did not babble or try to say words. He was extremely affected by any change in his environment and became difficult to feed. His body was in constant motion, but yet he still was not attempting walking. Jake was evaluated by their state’s early intervention program where it was suggested he be further evaluated for a possible Autism diagnosis. “Hearing that your child has Autism is one of the hardest things a parent could ever hear. It sets you on a journey of the unknown…you don’t know where to turn, who to see, or where to get answers. But the scariest thing of all is you don’t know what the future holds for your child. Each child on the Autism spectrum is so very different” says Jake’s mom Joanne.
Jake was diagnosed at age 2 with Autism, severe expressive and receptive language disorder (non-verbal), severe Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, hypotonia, neromotor dyspraxia along with wandering and elopement issues. Jake is extremely active and requires constant supervision since he has no sense of fear or danger. He can’t be left alone because he has been found wandering alone and can’t speak. “We continue to take desperate measures daily to keep Jake safe. Safety is our first priority with him” says his father Matt. Jake needs to be restricted to strollers or carts when in public because of his running and meltdowns. Jake doesn’t process information in his brain the way other people do. There is a constant barrage of sensory overload in his daily life from lights, visual stimuli, noises, vibrations and movement. This gets misinterpreted by his nervous system and causes him to meltdown, bolt or scream in public. Jake is getting too big for shopping carts and strollers and his parents fear taking him in public will lead to a horrible consequence.
Jake currently attends a special needs preschool where he receives instruction and guidance to help address his delays. Jake also receives private occupational and speech therapies three times a week in addition to the therapies he receives at school. Jake needs lots of help to learn how to interact socially. Since he doesn’t talk he has trouble making friends. Jake doesn’t know how to interact with others. “Jake is the sweetest little boy you will ever meet, but he doesn’t know how to interact outside of his own little world. We try daily to bring him into our world, but he struggles since he has no words” says his mother. “It breaks my heart to see him struggle so much with something that is a developmental passage for other children. Going to birthday parties, playing at the park, participating in a jumping session at a local bounce house, even just sitting at a movie and enjoying a movie are just a few of the things Jake can not do like most other children.”
Jake’s parents want to do all they can do to help him achieve all that he should be able to just like other children. Jake has been accepted into an Ohio organization 4 Paws For Ability, which trains service
dogs for children like Jake. An Autism Assistance service dog would be trained to track Jake should he get lost or elope. The service dog would also use deep pressure, kisses, and snuggling to disrupt negative behaviors, therefore decreasing his anxiety and helping him with social interaction. Jake’s dog would also be tethered to Jake when in public not allowing him to run or bolt into on coming cars and keep him from running away while out in public since he can no longer fit into shopping carts and strollers. “You might say it would allow us to live life like a more normal family!” says his mother. “I don’t think you could ever place a dollar amount on the peace of mind this dog would give to us.”
Although Jake has been accepted as a service dog recipient, he and his family need help from the community to make the dream a reality as they enter the fundraising portion of the process. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Jake. The Wells’ are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach their goal with your help. If you can help them with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Jake Wells, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Says Jake’s mother Joanne, “He’s a brilliant little boy that needs extra help to live the life he is destined to live. It’s our job as his parents to see he gets what he needs in order to survive in this world. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
Young boy finally accepted to receive the service dog he needs
Recently our 7-year-old son, Richard Klingensmith, was approved for a multi-purpose service dog through 4 Paws for Ability. Richard was born full term on April 17th, 2006. We noticed that at birth he had a extremely high tolerance to pain and had difficulties with sucking. He had his first seizure at 3 months of age, and was diagnosed with PVL after an MRI of the brain for the seizures. He did not speak until he was 4 years of age, prior we taught him sign language. He started to walk at age 3, and was finally potty trained at age 5.
Developmentally he is at a 4 year old level, even though he is 7 years of age. Richard is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, PVL (Periventricular Leukomalacia or damage to the white matter of the brain), and seizures. Richard also has Hypotonia (low muscle tone), as well as Tibia vara, in which the lower part of his legs are bowed. He also has ongoing gastrointestinal motility and constipation issues. The hypotonia coupled with the seizures and the bowing of his lower legs makes his balance poor and he is at risk for falls. He does wear DAFO braces to stabilize his legs, but at times even with the braces, he is at risk of falling. He also wears a protective helmet for his seizures as well as the potential of falls, and also has a VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) implant to help control his seizures.
Richard also suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, PDD-NOS, and ADHD which contribute to his constant need for routines, familiar places, and people. This make interacting in social situations extremely difficult for Richard. He tends to have severe meltdowns when he is in a situation that is unfamiliar, or if he is in a crowded or noisy area or anytime he is over stimulated. At times, his first response to an unwanted situation is to flee the area or scene without regard to his safety.
Before coming upon 4 Paws for Ability, Richard was turned down by other organizations due to either his age or that he had too many disabilities to qualify for a service dog. 4 Paws is also one of the only agencies with no minimum age requirement and does not turn away combinations of disabilities. The Ohio-based organization trains multi-purpose service dogs to the specific needs of the individual. In Richard’s case, that would include tasks like behavior disruption, tethering and tracking, socialization and calming/pressure, as well as seizure alert, and balance. We believe this dog will have a dramatically positive impact on our lives, especially for Richard. Not only will the dog make life safer and less stressful for him, it will also be a constant best friend who loves him unconditionally, something that’s a blessing for a child who has to undergo many medical procedures, therapies, doctor’s visits to maintain his health, as well as curb his behaviors and to keep him safe both at home as well as in the community.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a multi-purpose dog with Richard Klingensmith. 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, Richard Klingensmith in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Richard Klingensmith, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Dogs are miracles with paws for Jacob
Meet Jacob Matarese – an almost 12 year old boy who is caring, sensitive and funny! He unassumingly commands a presence from people that almost always causes them to instantly fall in love with him. He loves music, legos, movies and video games. But his first love, and his biggest love, is animals.
Jacob has helped raise money for the Special Olympics, The American Heart Association, he collected an enormous amount of wish list items for a local animal shelter and he gave up Thanksgiving dinner with his family to serve dinner to and mingle with those not as fortunate to have a place to eat or people to eat with.
Jacob has a variety of disorders that impact his daily life. Every day is a struggle for him, and our family as a whole. He meets challenges in simple daily tasks that most people take for granted – also in school and other social settings. Any type of transition and/or routine disruption proves to be traumatic for him both emotionally and mentally. This will then usually result in physical exhaustion and increases his already extreme anxiety.
Due to Jacob’s social awkwardness and inability to read social cues, he is often misunderstood, especially by his peers. All of these factors together, with his medical needs, cause frequent meltdowns, repetitive behaviors (often self injurious), fixated and obsessive tendencies along with sleep difficulties.
Among several other medical issues, Jacob also suffers from a sleep disorder. He feels fearful and unsafe, especially when sleeping alone. This is sometimes improved with the weight bearing of several blankets or anything that can be safely piled on him until it reaches his comfort level for sleeping. He also suffers from night terrors and sleep walking. This has proven to be challenging since I have awaken to find Jacob in unsafe situations while sound asleep.
Jacob has been battling these challenges since birth. I have only scratched the surface of Jacob’s medical issues and his physical, emotional, mental and social hurdles. I can’t begin to tell you how autism alone affects his daily living and that of our family as well.
Due to Jacob’s other conditions, his autism spectrum disorder was diagnosed later in life than the average diagnosis. After several evaluations, doctor visits and therapy visits, at the recommendation of all of them, we set out to educate ourselves on the benefits of an Autism Service Dog. We then started the application and interview process with a new found hope for Jacob and for our family.
We are thrilled to announce that Jacob has been approved to receive an Autism Service Dog from 4 Paws for Ability. They are a nationally recognized non-profit organization fully committed to helping children with disabilities become more independent in their every day living. They strive to help set these children up for success and they have made a tremendous difference in families lives doing just that.
A service dog will be trained to meet Jacob’s specific needs. trained with skills like (but not limited to):
* deep pressure and sensory integration
* behavior disruption
* calming techniques
An Autism Service Dog would help calm Jacob during times of anxiety and transition. It will provide for him a safety net to go out into the world more confident and independent than he would without one. It is one of a mother’s greatest hopes for our children.
It costs 4 Paws for Ability $22,000 to place a fully trained service dog in the home. Because we truly believe, with all our hearts, that a service dog would be life changing for Jacob, we have agreed to volunteer our time, energy and resources and commit to raising $13,000 for the organization in honor of Jacob. After reaching this goal, 4 Paws for Ability will begin the training process for Jacob’s new companion. And because this is so near and dear to our hearts, we have made a commitment as a family to better educate the public about service animals and the profound impact they have on people’s daily living.
4 Paws for Ability is a very reputable non-profit organization, committed to improving the quality of life for children with disabilities. As a result, we are committed to supporting their mission. If you can help with a tax deductible donation please visit www.4PawsforAbility.org/donate-now and be sure to do so in honor of Jacob Matarese. Or you can visit www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/4pawsforJacob/4PawsforJacobfundraisingPage . You can also mail a check with “In honor of Jacob Matarese” on the memo line to
4 Paws for Ability
In honor of Jacob Matarese 253 Dayton Avenue
Our sincere and heartfelt thanks – Tara, Jim and Jacob Matarese
Help Ami find solace in a service dog
By Kalay Colley
- Anoxic Brain Injury
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
- Social Anxiety
- Some developmental delays
Ami has been in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, talk therapy, and medication therapy since the age of 2 years old. She continues in all therapies today, with the exception of physical therapy.
Ami cannot deal with too much confusion or change (such as her daily routine being disrupted, or going to a new social setting). She can be very rigid in routines, and when her routine is disrupted she tends to have a major meltdown. (Meltdowns consist of: slapping herself, banging her head, pulling her hair out, punching herself, and crying uncontrollably.) Ami started exhibiting obsessive behavior around the age of two. The behavior escalated as she grew older and her fixations became greater and greater. For example, she can be extremely obsessive over finding the right socks to wear.
She has a number of challenges which I believe will be less difficult by having a trained multipurpose service dog:
- She is rigid about change
- She does not sense or understand danger
- Speech challenges
- She is very active and into everything
- She does not desire to sleep by herself
- She tends to wander when she’s outside
Ami is very affectionate and loving and most of the time, she is very happy and active. Like most kids, she loves animals, Barbies, and swimming. She likes to be with her mom and relishes alone time with her. She loves to go outdoors, and she adores and relates well with animals.
A multipurpose service dog would be a tremendous help to Ami and the entire family. In addition to providing companionship, they are also trained in Search and Rescue, can help soothe her tantrums and anxiety, and create a gateway to further independence.
Many children with FAS and traumatic brain injuries have sensory issues causing involuntary repetitive movements or behaviors that seem out of place in a social context. These movements thus become the “signal” or “command” taught to the dog. The dog is then trained to disrupt the behavior by nuzzling the child or putting a paw on the child.
I learned about 4 Paws for Ability, and after studying everything they offered, I am convinced that Ami’s life would be different if she had a multipurpose service dog. She responds well to animals. A service dog would be a reliable companion and helpmate to Ami. The dog could help calm her when she is having a meltdown.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Ami. 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Ami Colley, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Thank you for helping make this little girl’s life better.
Most people ask, “Why do you call it Dalton’s Dance?”
To dream of dancing signifies freedom from any constraints and restrictions. Your life is in balance and in harmony. To dream that you are attending or going to a dance indicates a celebration and your attempts to achieve happiness. Consider the phrase the “dance of life,” which suggests creation and going with what life has to offer you. To see children dancing in your dream indicates a happy home life.
This is that we want for Dalton. A life without constraints. A life that is as functional and independent as possible. To know that when we are gone, he will be able to sustain a more independent life without us.
Dalton is our miracle child; the child who was never supposed to be. He is the child for which we waited 8 long years. The child who was never supposed to survive my pregnancy and then after being born 9 weeks early was not supposed to survive long enough to ever leave the hospital. He was the child who we were told would never walk, talk, eat or function. They said he would never really contribute anything substantial to this world.
We strongly disagree.
He now walks (not independently), he’s never quiet, he doesn’t stop eating and he continues to work in therapy 4 times a week on physical functioning. He is resiliant, he is stubborn and he is determined.
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 13-16
Yes, Dalton is indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. God created him with purpose. He teaches us everyday!
Dalton lives with multiple disabilities, some of which are listed below. Because of our determination to ease his burdens and provide him maximum opportunities, we applied and were accepted by 4 Paws For Ability – an organization that trains multi-purpose service dogs for the children who need them. Such dog would help Dalton in a variety of ways, including:
- Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy: This dog would assist Dalton with mobility and soften falls when they occur.
- Autism: The dog would have the ability to track Dalton in the event he wander off and will have the unique ability to divert his attention and calm him when he experiences severe anxiety in social situations.
- Epilepsy: This dog will have the ability to potentially detect an impending seizure and can alert us to an active seizure, can be trained to retrieve emergency medication and utilize an alert system in the house, while protecting him and staying by his side during and after a seizure.
- Dalton also struggles with legal blindness.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Dalton. 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) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Dalton O’Bannon, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
It is our hope that you will find generosity in your heart and donate to 4 Paws For Ability. Be sure to make the donation “In honor of Dalton O’Bannon”.
The O’Bannon family
The dream of a service dog for Christian
A service dog to help young Raya everyday
Our daughter’s name is Raya Banda. She is currently 5 years old and has fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Raya was placed with us when she was 7 weeks old as a foster baby. We fell in love with her the moment we saw her and knew that she was going to be ours forever. But from the moment we met her, we knew something was not right.
When we brought her home, Raya cried for three days straight. Because of this we ended up in the emergency room and was informed by the doctors that she was showing all the signs of a baby going through withdraws. Raya’s adoption into our family was made official on September 3, 2010 when she was 2 years old. At the time of our adoption we had a pretty good idea that she did have FAS however we did not yet have the official diagnoses. This conclusion was eventually confirmed, although it took us a year to finally be seen by the only doctor in our area that could make the official diagnoses.
Our Raya is a very loving and caring child who has no worries in the world. She has never met a stranger. She is very active, loving to swim and play with her brother and sister. However, Raya is unable to sit still and focus on anything. She hits, kicks, screams, calls people horrible names, runs away from us, and throws things at people. She is 5 years old and not yet potty trained and may never be. She has NO impulse control, is now starting to open the front door and run outside and down the street and has tons of sensory issues. FAS causes a child to have brain damage which is irreversible. She can be happy and loving one minute and having a major meltdown the next minute.
Due to these challenges, we are often unable to take her out in public, as people in general typically do not understand Raya’s behavior. She is in kindergarten this year and currently attending a special school to help her learn how to control her behaviors and how to interact properly with others. She is also receiving occupational therapy, counseling weekly and is in the process of starting speech therapy .
Like any parents, we want to provide the very best for our child. Because of this, we found, applied and were accepted by the organization 4 Paws For Ability, who trains service dogs for children like Raya. A service dog would help with behavior disruption by touching, nudging, kissing and snuggling with her or providing deep pressure in order to calm and distract her. Through the use of a technique called tethering, she will no longer be able to run away while in public. The dog would also be trained to track Raya should she manage to get out of the house. These three skills alone could assist Raya in having an even more secure, happy and independent life.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Raya. 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Raya Banda, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Having this dog would help Raya every day so that she might have a little better life. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The Banda family
Caden’s quest for a service dog
If you ever met Caden Hall, you would never know that he battles a seizure disorder. He is a fun-loving six-year-old boy from a family of six (Mom and Dad and TWO sets of twins). He and his twin brother are six years old and his younger twin siblings are two years old. Quite a hectic house as it is! He adores every minute of being one of the “big” brothers. He loves sports and has a super-sweet spirit. He is always looking to help Mommy and Daddy care for the younger kids and tries to comfort others when they seem sad.
About two and half years ago, Caden’s life changed. He woke up one Saturday morning, very confused; unable to remember his family’s names or respond when they asked him questions. After a variety of tests, including an MRI and EEG, it was determined that Caden had a condition described as Complex Partial Seizures, which is a form of childhood epilepsy.
These seizures are difficult to notice until after they have occurred, as there is no shaking or noises. Yet the aftermath is quite upsetting and dangerous. His seizures have continued to happen, but almost exclusively overnight. Even with a video monitor, his parents have only been aware of his seizures after they have ended and he is sobbing, unable to express why.
In May of 2013, his seizures became worse. His parents found him in his bed drenched with sweat. They were able to stand him up but he soon after he vomited and then became completely unresponsive. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital and it was determined that Caden had a Grand Mal Seizure while he was sleeping.
After this, Caden’s parents became determined to find an alternative way to detect his seizures. The monitor was not going to cut it anymore! They started researching and learning about seizure alert dogs. These dogs can alert him and his parents if he is about to, or is actually having a seizure. After much research they came across 4 Paws for Ability. One of this agency’s missions is to:
”Enrich the lives of children with disabilities by the training and placement of quality, task trained service dogs to provide increased independence for the children and assistance to their families.”
They can work with Caden’s parents to train a unique dog to meet his needs. This dog could finally give Caden the advocate he needs while he sleeps. His parents could finally rest easy, knowing that Caden has a true “Man’s Best Friend” by his side. He could also become a great comfort to Caden, while he is often very emotional due to his seizure regulating medications. Caden and his family desperately need this Canine advocate. This comfort and peace of mind does not come without sacrifice though.
It costs 4 Paws $22,000 to train and place a dog with Caden. Caden’s family is volunteering to raise $13,000 of this cost to support the 4 Paws mission. If you would like to join in raising these funds with a tax-deductible donation please visit the 4 Paws donation page:
You can donate through PayPal (Please include Caden Halls name in the “Special Instructions” section).
Or mail a check with “Caden Hall” on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Caden Hall
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia Ohio 45385
Thank you in advance for your support!
The Hall Family
Finding Donovan’s true friend
Donovan Alexander Matthew Leonard was born in 2001 and from that time on, has experienced more than his fair share of challenges. Throughout his journey, Donovan has been diagnosed with a variety of disorders, all which impact his daily life in dramatic ways. Our family continues to do everything possible to ease Donovan’s difficulties, which is a big part of what led us on a quest to acquire a service dog trained specifically for his needs. While the dog would be able to assist him in a multitude of ways, perhaps what we’re most looking forward to is the possibility of our beautiful boy experiencing a good night’s sleep and the feeling of having a true best friend.
Donovan was born with an apgar score of 10. We didn’t think anything about his not sleeping through the night until he was a year old. We were told to just be patient. He is 12 now and he still does not sleep through the night even though he is on a prescription sleep medication.
Donovan has always been easily frustrated; he didn’t talk much as a young child, and showed no interest in his toys. We just assumed these behaviors were the result of his not having siblings his age to interact with.
When Donovan started preschool his teacher could not get him to enter the classroom. This went on for a month and during this time Donovan began to appear depressed and regress. His pediatrician had us withdraw him from school and Donovan improved.
Donovan was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was four. This diagnosis was changed to autistic traits, ADHD, and early onset bipolar. He later began to have visual and auditory hallucinations so then schizophrenia was added. Donovan has been tested on a variety of medications, with most working for a limited time. His diagnoses have changed at various times with Agenesis of the corpus callosum being added after an injury resulting in an MRI. At this appointment we found out just how high his pain threshold is. He had a severe sinus infection that was detected during his MRI, his forehead was badly swollen and the top half of his face was bruised from him hitting his forehead on the floor at school during a meltdown. While waiting for the test Donovan was sitting on the bed watching TV and laughing. He had been given nothing for pain yet. Later the nurse asked him how he felt. He said fine, but when she asked if his head hurt, he told her yes. When asked on a scale of 1-10 how bad, he said 10 then went back to laughing at the show he was watching.
When Donovan was a toddler he spent his days running from door to wall and slamming his body into them each time. He would also throw severe tantrums when he had to go inside or there was a change in his routine. Donovan did not play with his toys but he would empty his toy box so he could sit inside. He did not interact well with other children and frequently became aggressive. On a trip to the zoo, Donovan spent more time looking at maps than he did looking at the animals. His favorite TV show was the weather channel because of the maps. He would scream every time his hair was washed or cut, and transitions of any type were very difficult. He would only sleep a few hours a night.
Because of behavioral issues and his wandering, the decision was made to place Donovan in a self contained classroom when he started kindergarten. We realized that even an enclosed classroom was not working for Donovan. We have tried school settings several times throughout the years. He is currently being homeschooled which seems to be working best.
Donovan still has difficulties sleeping, suffers from anxiety, has behavioral issues, no friends, has a learning disability, low muscle tone, difficulties with fine motor skills, speech difficulties, a high pain threshold, he very seldom tells us when he is hurt or sick, he is a literal thinker, and the worst part is – Donovan is very lonely.
Donovan is a sweet young man whose main interests are spending time on the computer and playing video games. He has recently started enjoying reading and loves joke books. He can (and has) told every joke in a book in a single day. This is a big accomplishment because Donovan is very literally minded and is just beginning to grasp the concept of jokes. Donovan enjoys spending time with his dad and cuddling with his mom.
Donovan has been approved for an Autism service dog whose duties will be tethering and help with behavior disruption. This dog will also provide much needed companionship and reassurance at night when Donovan wakes from his frequent nightmares.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Donovan. 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) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Donovan, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Boy and his mother on a mission for service dog
Earlier this year, 8-year-old Miles Garcia Jackson was approved for a service dog through nationally renowned organization, 4 Paws for Ability. Whether it was a stroke of luck or divine intervention, when Brandey Herring, Miles’ mother, came upon the non-profit’s website, she was immediately interested in what their service animals had to offer—peace of mind.
Young Miles is diagnosed with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Early Onset Bipolar Disorder and Dyslexia. He also has ongoing gastrointestinal issues and migraines. Any one of these conditions can be difficult for a family, but combining all of them in a single- parent household is quite overwhelming. Herring works tirelessly to ensure that Miles has every opportunity available to any other child in the US and State of Georgia, every opportunity he deserves.
Even before the age of 2, it was evident to Herring that Miles had no sense of self-preservation. Stranger-danger did not exist in his world, nor fears of racing traffic, deep pools or possible falls from great heights. Almost 7 years later, these dangers still do not register for Miles. Combining this with his curiosity and compulsive desire to wander off, a common trait for kids like Miles, can lead to some very scary moments for his family.
Miles also suffers from sensory overload, a symptom of Asperger’s, and anxiety and paranoia, symptoms of EO Bipolar. Add the 3 of these with his incessant need for routine, and social situations can be extremely painful, both for Miles and his mother.
4 Paws for Ability is often a last hope for children who’ve been turned away from other service dog programs. Unlike 4 Paws, many organizations have disability criteria, making it possible to be told your child is “too disabled” or not “disabled enough” to be a qualified candidate. 4 Paws is also one of the only agencies with no minimum age requirement. The Ohio-based organization trains multi-purpose service dogs to the specific needs of the individual. In Miles’ case, that would include tasks like behavior disruption, tethering and tracking, socialization and calming.
“I believe this dog will have a dramatically positive impact on our lives,” states Herring. “Not only will the dog make life safer and less stressful for my son, it will also be a constant best friend who loves him unconditionally, something that’s a blessing for a child who occasionally suffers the heartbreak of taunting and teasing.”
4 Paws was founded in 1998 by Karen Shirk, currently the Executive Director, who was denied a service dog because she used a ventilator at night. 4 Paws is truly enriching the lives of children with disabilities. To shorten the wait for a service dog, 4 Paws for Ability partners with families who volunteer to raise a portion of the funds needed to train said dogs. It costs around $22,000, and Brandey Herring has agreed to raise a minimum of $13,000, which is what all families are asked. With the help of the Miles’ community, friends and family, Herring is hopeful and undeterred at the amount.
Please help Miles’ dream come true by contacting Brandey Herring at 334.714.6690 or P. Wingate at 229.410.9376 to learn more about planned fundraisers and benefits or offer ideas of your own. If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www. 4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include Miles’ name 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 Miles Garcia Jackson, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Miles has already named his future dog. Let’s help bring “Spikey Squirtle Huntin’ Dog Dancin’ with the Wolves” home.
Young Blake loves animals, seeking special canine friend
Blake Leigh Farrell was born December 1, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her first smile was during those first days in the hospital, and she has not stopped smiling since. She loves people, animals and especially her big sister, Finley.
Blake began to show signs of mild hypotonia (low muscle tone) around her first birthday. We began a series of evaluations and tests in December, and in January it appeared her gross motor skills were regressing. Much to our dismay, Blake received a diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA type II) on February 6, 2012 at 14 months old.
SMA affects muscles throughout the body. In the most common types, weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding, swallowing, and respiratory function (e.g., breathing, coughing, and clearing secretions) can be affected. When the muscles used for breathing and coughing are affected and weakened, this can lead to an increased risk for pneumonia and other respiratory infections, as well as breathing difficulty during sleep. The brain’s cognitive functions and the ability to feel objects and pain are not affected.
We have had many challenges since Blake’s diagnosis, but with our positive attitude and her amazing personality, we have turned these challenges into opportunities. Blake is only able to sit independently for a short time. She uses a wheel chair around the house and has a motorized Stander. She has multiple sets of braces and respiratory devices (cough assist, suction, and pulse ox). Blake is in therapy 6 hours a week, consisting of water therapy, land PT, OT, and hippotherapy. Blake is capable of eating independently and is also very good at coloring. She has great dexterity, but struggles with strength in her arms and hands. She is unable to pick things up that fall, open drawers, push buttons, or sit up on her own.
For those of you that do not know our sweet ”Blakey Blue” or “Bumble B”, she has the most amazing spirit. If I could describe her in one word it would be HAPPY! She is the most loving, funny, easy-going child I have ever seen. People flock to her wherever we go, and the light inside her is contagious. Blake began speaking at an early age and already can spell her name. She enjoys reading books, playing the ipad, playing princess dress up, and cuddling with her pets. Her big sister, Finley, is her best friend. Blake also loves to ride horses and swim, which is great for her muscles!
Blake requires a mobility service dog to help her with the many tasks she can not do. Such as, picking things up, closing doors, pushing buttons, opening drawers, and any help getting around. This dog will help our family with many of the tasks that we have to do to help Blake get around as well. And besides all of the mobility support she will receive,a service dog will become her best friend and provide her with another emotional bond to help her with confidence, love, and support.
Our family has always had a love for animals, and we are so excited to have a dog partner with our daughter to help her through this journey. I believe a service dog will give her so much in life that she would otherwise struggle with.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Blake. 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Blake Farrell, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Help to brighten Mattison’s day with an Autism Assistance dog!
On July 22, 2010 we were blessed to have a beautiful, happy little girl – Mattison S. Kimbler. She is our only child and the center of our world. Over the next year and half she began to laugh, roll-over, crawl and develop as any child should. We enjoyed watching her grow, with every new accomplishment documented by pictures, videos and the immediate phone calls to let everyone know of Mattison’s first steps, words or even her first attempt to use a spoon. With every baby check-up, Mattison had exceeded developmental milestones. As a first time mother, I took comfort that all the books, magazines and child development programs I spent time and money on were really worth it!
In December of 2011 Mattison caught what we thought was a casual winter cold. Over that next few days Mattison remained very quiet, sleepy and only wanted to be held or carried around. But Mattison then spiked a fever of 102.8. This, in addition to her other behavior changes, prompted her to be admitted to the neurology unit of the local children’s hospital. Mattison was only 17 months old at the time, but she bravely endured being placed in an isolation crib, given IVs, blood tests, an MRI and an electroencephalogram. As a parent, I admit I was frightened by looking at all these scary medical devices and can only imagine what she was thinking, but Mattison stayed brave! After the results came in, doctors were unable to identify what caused her to become so sick. It took Mattison a couple weeks to get her energy back and at that point we noticed our little girl had started to change.
Mattison regressed back to crawling and unsteady baby steps. She didn’t talk nor interact as much as she had in the past. Over the next few months she continued to change. She regained a steady walk but her behaviors were different. She became more withdrawn, fearful and showed little interest in her favorite toys. Mattison was still a happy little girl but she found joy in her own little world. She was often unaware of things around her. I could be right beside her doing jumping jacks and calling her name without any response at all! She showed no interest in other children playing with toys outside, instead choosing to play with a stick, walking around the fence and listening to the sounds it made as she ran it along the chain links. It was during this time we had been referred to a developmental pediatrician for observation. It wasn’t long before one developmental pediatrician soon became a team of physicians who studied language, social interaction, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, cognitive function, emotional stimulus, and psychological aspects. After all the subsequent evaluations, the team’s decision was made without hesitation and unanimously concluded – Mattison has Autism!
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to hear in my life. She was so young. Autism is usually diagnosed in Pre-K or Kindergarten. But due to the extent of her “symptoms”, Mattison was diagnosed before her 2nd birthday. All I could think was, “How can this be? She was advanced in meeting all her milestones less than a year ago!” The more I researched the disorder, the more I realized how much our lives were really going to change!
Mattison is now 3, and has made huge improvements but still struggles in daily life. Mattison is VERY active! Because of her short attention span and ADHD tendencies, everyday tasks such as eating lunch or getting dressed are very difficult.
At home, Mattison is outgoing, happy and full of life. However, her behavior outside of the home is often the total opposite. Mattison becomes anxious and easily triggered by sounds or lights in public places. During our everyday errands, Mattison is comforted only by being held or strapped in her stroller. The simple task of picking up a gallon of milk can turn into a large ordeal.
With the help of therapies, Mattison has begun to interact with some people and children again. While it has decreased some of Mattison’s triggers, it has made her susceptible to “stranger danger”. Accompanied with her tendencies to wander, you are truly unable to take your eyes off her for a second!
Her need for constant supervision continues at home also. Mattison is very smart and has mastered the ability to unlock the doors. This became apparent one night when I quickly tried to use the bathroom, convinced Mattison would be fine watching her movie and playing in the game room. I came out to find the room empty. I called her name as I ran up and down the stairs. Panic set in as I looked through the laundry room to find an open back door. In a full sprint, I darted to the back yard to find Mattison kicking her ball around. While thankful, I was terrified.
She is also unafraid of heights, which entices her to climb just about anything she can get away with. Plus her inability to realize danger usually prompts her to jump down from places instead of climbing down.
These very special autism assistance dogs are trained to assist Mattison in ALL of these trouble areas. The familiarity of a constant companion reduces anxiety and stress in public. Autism assistance dogs can help identify Mattison’s triggers and form distractions. And the special tether leashes will inhibit Mattison from wondering and will allow us as a family to peacefully walk through a store together for the first time in her life!
Working with Mattison’s “quirks” does make life a little more difficult, but she’s our Mattison and this is our life! Mattison has so much to offer the world! She is an amazing child to be around, and fills everyone around her with joy. With your help we can provide a special little girl with a very special companion who can help her in experiencing all the world has to offer not only as a “typical child” but for the rest of her life. So as a family, we humbly ask for your help in providing Mattison Kimbler with an Autism Assistance Dog.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Mattison Kimbler. 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, Mattison Kimbler in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Mattison Kimbler, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Thank you for your support,
The Kimbler Family
Little CJ in need of seizure awareness dog
CJ is a very energetic little boy! He loves doing so many things; from hiking, fishing, singing to going to his karate class. And he loves animals! Just the other day he helped rescue a little baby bunny from the window well. One of his favorite things to do is sing country songs. He also has a memory like you wouldn’t believe. He will hear a song on the radio one time and have it memorized and be singing it later that day.
I still remember the day CJ was born. We were told after 18 hours of labor that we needed a C-section because his heart rate was dropping and his umbilical cord was only 7cms long. When CJ entered the world I still remember the doctors taking him out and there was no cry. They whisked him away from me and seconds later I finally heard his little cry. For the first two months of his life he had constant respiratory problems. We were always going to the doctor for breathing treatments. After his third month he was diagnosed with Asthma. His first year he was hospitalized 7 times, all for respiratory issues. Due to all the hospitalizations he fell behind on meeting his milestones. CJ did not crawl until he was 10 months old and didn’t walk until he was 18 months. When he turned 2 years old we had many more tests done because we knew something was not right. He would stop breathing for 20 seconds during the middle of the night and I was constantly checking on him and sleeping next to him. We were told his tonsils and his adenoids would need removed so he could breathe better. Thankfully, the procedure resulted in improved breathing.
By the time of CJ’s third birthday, he was starting to have emotional breakdowns for seemingly no reason. He was very clumsy, constantly falling down and he wouldn’t put his arm up to protect his head. He would just fall. There were so many nights where my husband and I would wake up to check on him and he would be covered in vomit. We thought maybe it was a flu bug. However, it began to happen more often and he would do this silently, making it difficult to detect even when he slept next to us. When he turned 5, things seemed to settle down and we were making great progress. It was time for kindergarten to start and he was ready for the big day. While at school he continued to have emotional breakdowns and sometimes stare into space. We pulled him out of school and opted for homeschooling while we conducted more tests.
This year CJ was diagnosed with Complex Seizures. His seizures tend to occur at night and cause vomiting. We sleep with a video-enabled baby monitor so we can see and hear if he is having a seizure. Our biggest fear is not hearing him, making it possible for him to choke if we were not able to get to him in time. We believe a seizure awareness dog would greatly help CJ in several ways. The dog would be trained to alert us when he is about to have a seizure and act as a calming distraction during an emotional breakdown. I myself have struggled with epilepsy my whole life and if I don’t get enough sleep I am able to have a seizure. Growing up, I never had the opportunity to have a seizure awareness dog. We want to protect CJ at the same time allow him to do the things he enjoys without the fear of a seizure. This dog and new family member would be an answer to our prayer for CJ’s safety.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with CJ. 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 the 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include CJ’s name 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 CJ Alter, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Thank you and God bless,
The Alter Family
Young Aaron needs service dog for added safety
I’m sure all moms think that way when they first give birth. Aaron was a little behind when he first started growing; he crawled and walked late. There were never any big indicators that something was wrong when he was little. The one thing I remember is that he would bang his head on the high chair when he was eating. It never looked as if it was hurting him. He played with toys and would even talk and made good eye contact. He loved cars and would roll them on the floor making car noises. He said momma and daddy and a couple of other words.
Then one day all of that stopped.
We noticed that Aaron would just sit on the floor and stare into space as if in his own world. He would get really tense and make hand movements when things would spin. He started to walk on his toes much of the day. He stopped talking and playing with toys like a normal child would. A family member printed out a article on Autism. I remember thinking, “No not my son. He doesn’t have that.” I would take him to the doctor and she would tell me that there is nothing to worry about. I couldn’t explain the hand movements and the tensing so I eventually decided to record him and show the doctor. His doctor heard our concerns and told us that it may be PDD, Persuasive development, which is at the bottom end of the spectrum. She told us to give the child development center a call.
Aaron started therapy and upon evaluation they decided it would be best for the ECEP team to test him for Autism. The day of the evaluation was difficult; I didn’t know what to expect. The results indicated that Aaron had Autism. My husband and I went home and cried but that was just the beginning. Aaron started having small staring spells and I began researching doctors, finding Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX. They had a special area just for children with Autism. We decided to make an appointment. It was there we discovered Aaron also has Cortical Dysplaysia and Epilepsy. We were even more devastated than before. The doctor prescribed medicine for seizures and medicine for him to sleep.
Aaron is now almost 6 years old. He will be in kindergarten this year. He does not talk and cannot dress himself. He can use his fingers to feed himself but not utensils. He wanders and you can’t leave him alone. He requires adult supervision at all times. He is not potty trained and sticks everything in his mouth. It took us a year to decide that Aaron would need something drastic. We researched 4 Paws for Ability and found that so many kids with Autism have become more independent with a service dog. The main concern right now is that he has already gotten out of the house two times and ran across the street to the park. The dog is trained to be able to track Aaron, which is thrilling to us. The dog can also calm him when he is having a bad day and is also great for enhancing his social skills.
In short, the dog would change our boy’s life!
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Aaron. 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 Aaron’s name 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 Aaron Harris, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Noah’s dream of a service dog
So a little about Noah. Well for one, there is nobody like him. All parents say that about their children, but I really mean it. He is the most compassionate eight year old that you will ever meet. He truly loves life — and always has a (semi-toothless) smile to share. He also has hour-long stories and a million questions to go along with it. He once told me that his dream is to one day become a police officer and a dad because he would be a great dad from the start. He loves monopoly (which he can beat almost anybody at), chess (he is so good at chess that he beats the computer on the hard level, and beats me every time) and basketball. He also loves to make paper airplanes, loves listening to Michael Jackson, and loves to make other people smile.
His Diagnosis Story: We always knew that Noah was “different”. A lot of people have a hard time understanding him as a person — even his teachers. At his first preschool, at about the age of two, I had a teacher tell me to my face that she thought my son was “retarded”. After crying for several hours, I called my mom in hysterics, and we decided to take Noah to the doctor. His doctor brushed it off, and said that there was nothing wrong with him at all, so we let it go. At the age of three, I had to take Noah to an ENT specialist, who told me he noticed that Noah’s speech was delayed. He gave me a phone number to the public school system that actually had a daycare that he could go to that would help him along.
He started picking up things quickly, and we set up an IEP for him. He was still not diagnosed with anything. We started him in pre-k, and had some problems with the teacher again. This time, the teacher would withhold Noah’s snacks if he couldn’t keep still. She would only give him water (and this was a 5 hour day), and have him sit and watch the other kids eat. She also told me that there was nothing obviously wrong with him. Noah’s luck with teachers changed in 1st grade with his teacher Mrs. Zenz. She understood him and took the time to get to know Noah. She appreciated his little quirks and Noah soared academically. He went from the bottom 17 percent all the way up to 67% on his proficiency’s. That is the difference one teacher can make.
Another teacher that changed Noah’s life was “Mr. E”. Mr.E is the special needs teacher at Noah’s current school. Noah had a rough start to the year, and I had almost daily calls – switching between his after school care and his regular school. One day I got a call saying that Mr. E was taking Noah on – that he noticed Noah had some difficulties and that he was going to work with him. Finally, somebody recognized what my family and I had noticed. We changed Noah’s IEP to include more social/behavioral goals as well as organization. I then started taking Noah to a therapist who immediately diagnosed him with Autism. Within a few weeks of seeing the therapist, she also diagnosed Noah with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder), a mood disorder and anxiety. After these diagnoses, I became very angry. For his entire life, he had been punished for things he was unable to control.
How Autism has changed our lives: Autistic Children have breakdowns because of over stimulation. We have a hard time going in to public places. One time he had a melt down in Olive Garden (before we understood what was going on), and when I had to take him out, an entire table full of people clapped as we left. Talk about mortifying. So for the last few years we have tried going places that are not over-crowded or at least to places that are more child-friendly. After the diagnosis, we understand that Noah would have breakdowns because he was being over stimulated. For Autistic children, everything is amplified. Everything is loud; lights, music, people,etc. We still avoid places where there are higher chances of over stimulation.
Noah is also very impulsive. Just in the past month, I can count on two hands how many times he has done something that could endanger him or somebody else. For example: I was getting Noah ready for school one morning and told him to go out to the car. We share a driveway with our neighbors, and my neighbor was very OBVIOUSLY backing up. Noah ran RIGHT BEHIND the neighbor and almost got hit. He went and sat in my car unfazed from the entire situation as my neighbor was in tears. In another case, we were walking in a parking lot. I had two arms full of groceries and in one moment Noah was right next to me, and in the next, he bolted from my side to the other, and right in front of a car driving towards us.
Another time was when the weather started getting really nice. I had to run inside the house to do something really quick, it took less than a minute. Noah was outside with his sister, who is 5. We have had the talk about not leaving the yard, not talking to strangers, etc. several times. When I came out, I could not find either one of them. My heart sank. I started panicking and screaming for them and there was no response. I started running up the street with my phone about to call 911, when I spotted him almost three quarters of a mile down the street with his sister. When I confronted him, he simply stated that he was looking for friends.
Noah is also very awkward socially. He loves people, but has a hard time relating to them. He flaps his arms a lot (this is very typical of an Autistic child), and makes non-sense noises (also very typical). He struggles to make friends sometimes because of these behaviors. It is sad as a parent because he is always trying to make people happy. Sometimes in order to make friends he will give away his favorite toys or favorite Pokemon cards.
How the service dog would help us: Autistic children tend to have a stronger bond with animals than they do humans. Noah actually has two blue dumbo rats. It sounds gross, but they’re actually very neat. One is named Optimus and the other is Blue. Noah takes care of them on a daily basis. He likes having something besides himself to care for – it gives him a sense of worth. A service dog will help him feel like he has someone/ something else to care for.
Noah has had a lot of change in his life. Children with Autism usually adhere to a strict schedule and they do not like change. We went through an abusive marriage to my ex-husband together. We also have gone through moving several times, so he has had to change schools, too. On top of everything else, I have started nursing school (on top of working full time), which means less time with me. Having a service dog would be one consistent thing for him, and would provide more security for him.
When Noah gets over sensitized, the dogs are trained to be in tune to his emotions and they’re taught how to calm him down.
The service dogs also help with impulsive behavior. That is my primary concern because of safety.
Also, as a mom, I would feel better knowing that Noah would have a dog with him. He wouldn’t be alone. Noah is hard to understand sometimes, and when he acts out, children his age do not get it. The dog would ensure that he didn’t have to go through it by himself.
As of right now, Noah is on two different types of medication — Concerta for ADHD and Zoloft for anti anxiety. I think that a service dog would complete the bundle or even lower or perhaps eliminate the need for medication. I have heard about what these dogs can do for children, and it would be a complete blessing to both Noah and to our family.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Noah. 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 Noah’s name 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 Noah Davis, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Autism service dog for Antonio
Antonio is one of triplets born at 33 ½ weeks gestation. He was diagnosed with autism in June 2012. At about the age of eighteen months, we knew Antonio was delayed. We finally decided to have him tested at the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital. I hoped that autism would be ruled out and that there would be another explanation for his delays. When we were told that it was autism, I was shocked. I actually thought I would be ready to hear the ASD diagnosis, but I was not. It took a while for it to really set in and become reality.
At this time, Antonio is attending the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism. His progress has been amazing. He will say words and we are working on sentences to ask for things he wants. One of the greatest things that I have found when researching treatments and therapies are autism service dogs. Currently, we cannot let Antonio go for even a second because he will run from us. With having two other toddlers it makes it very difficult to go out alone. I am terrified that he will run off when I have the girls with me. A service dog would allow Antonio the ability to have more freedom when we are in public by having him tethered to the dog and being able to walk with the dog. A service dog would also be able to track Antonio if he were to get away from us, comfort him when he is upset or having a meltdown, and keep him from dangerous activities and behaviors. The tracking is not only important because of his elopement in public, but also because he will walk right out of the house. We have had to install extra locks he cannot reach in order to keep him inside. Antonio’s service dog will be trained in tracking, tethering, and behavior disruption. Antonio loves animals and bonds with them well.
Antonio is an amazing little boy! He is loving, kind, sensitive to his environment and eager to learn. He has an uncanny interest in mechanical and musical things which gives us a great outlook for his future. Although his Houdini skills and no fear attitude may serve him well throughout life, for now our concern is his safety and wellbeing. This is where we believe that 4 Paws can assist us. Having a service dog to aid us in his safety and development will benefit our entire family.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Antonio. 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 Antonio’s name 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 Antonio Macerata, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
A service dog for Elijah
Elijah is five years old, severely Autistic, nonverbal, and one of my three sons. My wife and I received his diagnosis when he was just 22 months old and have been fighting ever since to get him the therapies he needs in order to grow and thrive in this world. Through our research, we have noted the significant increase in the quality of life for children with this diagnosis following the addition of a service dog to their life. Elijah is a very active and inquisitive little boy that requires a level of attention and situational awareness that, at times, can be very overwhelming for his mother and me. While we do all that we can to cater to his needs as well as his two brothers, Elijah deserves a friend that will walk with him and calm him in ways that his mother and I cannot.
The service dog that we will have trained for his needs will be capable of providing a multitude of different needs to Elijah to include calming pressure stimulation and the ability to conduct search and rescue. Having this capability will provide our family with peace of mind that in the event that Elijah escapes our line of sight, we will have an immediate response available to us through our service dog. Unfortunately, wandering is a leading cause of death for many children with Elijah’s condition. Because he does not answer to his name and does not fear the unknown, wandering is a major threat to him and our family.
It will cost 4 Paws for Ability $22,000 to train a multipurpose dog for Elijah. We are committed to raise at least $13,000 so that Elijah may receive a service dog. If you can help us with a tax- deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page, or mail a check with Elijah’s name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Elijah Schwartfigure, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Please assist my family in creating a more safe and independent lifestyle for our baby. Your contributions, no matter the size will only bring us one step closer to achieving this goal. From my family to yours….THANK YOU!
children she wants to do what the older kids are doing.
Unfortunately, Hope is also an escape artist, taking opportunities to go on walks alone whenever they arise. This tendency of her’s has terrified us on multiple occasions. She has frightened the staff at her former school in Louisiana, which once went on shut down because staff could not locate her. Regardless of what we try, she finds the tiniest of opportunities to wander, and because of this we have found her in all types of odd places. We continue to try a variety of locks, alarms and even a locator to help prevent these escapades. The locator stymied us; taking too long to register her signal as our fears were escalating. We have found that we can generally find her faster without it. The longer she is gone the more fearful we are that she will end up in a dangerous situation.
Hope is very loving and seeks cuddling, and has great difficulty falling asleep alone. On the rare occasions we are able to get her asleep in her own bed, it is not uncommon for her to get up in the wee hours of the morning and play in the dark or join us in our bed. Fortunately, she has not escaped the house during these nocturnal play times.
We learned about 4 Paws for Ability during an online search following one of Hope’s adventures. We had found Hope in an empty neighbor’s home and then immediately and tearfully contacted Karen at 4 Paws to learn if a dog could help. Thankfully the answer was “yes”.
The service dog would be trained to track her, allowing us to find her quickly in the instances that she does go exploring. Her ability to slip away in large crowds would be eliminated when tethered to her dog, allowing us all more peace of mind. We could begin exposing Hope to places we currently avoid due to the stress levels involved.. The service dog could also give her comfort when needed. The dog can snuggle with her and eventually get her to sleep in her own bed on a nightly basis.
Like any parent, we want to give our daughter an abundant life, and protect her in every way possible.
It will cost 4 Paws for Ability $22,000 to train a multipurpose dog for Hope. We are committed to raise at least $13,000 so that Hope may receive a service dog. If you can help us with a tax- deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page, or mail a check with Hope’s name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Hope Middlestetter, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Zachary seeking the miracle of a service dog
My son Zachary is a 9 year old nonverbal, severely autistic child who has a history of seizures, sensory deprivation, sleep disorder, anxiety and OCD tendencies. The list could go on and on but what I focus on is his tenacity, which has helped him overcome so much. Zachary is very receptive and loving! He communicates his needs by signing or using his vantage communication device. Zachary was born at 36 weeks via scheduled cesarean, and he came into this world bringing such joy. He met every milestone up until the age of 18 months when he suddenly lost what vocabulary he had. Gone was “mama”, “dada”, “cup”, “patty cake” and “bite bite”. I thought he’d lost his hearing but then other things started happening. He stopped making eye contact, interacting with his cousin, stopped sleeping, spun in circles, and hand flapping until he left marks on his thighs. It was a major regression. Something took our bright-eyed little toddler and left behind a different being, one who screamed but yet still clung to his mommy. Autism is a diagnosis no parent should ever have to be told their child has. But yet there it was; a slap in the face!
Fast forward to present day, Zachary has had early intervention, multiple therapies, but still no speech has surfaced, which causes such frustration to the point where he is acting out physically now. His anxiety has led me to home-bound him from school. I am seeking out a service dog to be his best friend, to calm him, to give him the security he needs to achieve his goals. And so that he may engage socially with his peers, maybe one day attend school, sleep in his own bed and become independent.
Zachary is a miracle, not to be underestimated. We nearly lost him last year due to him getting up in the middle of the night to run his own bath and nearly drowning due to a seizure. I never heard him get up after being up with him all night. God gave him back to us. Our house is like Fort Knox but still I know if he wants out he will figure it out! This amazing creature will provide us all with what is most important – safety!!! We are ready to have this new family member with the help of 4 paws.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Zachary. 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 child’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Zachary Harper 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Young Ed already excited about life with a service dog
Ed is a wonderful and loving boy; unfortunately it is hard for people outside his immediate family to know how great Ed is since he has autism. High-Functioning Autism, often referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome, affects Ed’s ability to communicate, his emotional recognition and expression, and his social interaction. Due to this social awkwardness, it’s very hard for him to make friends and function in a social setting. Another impact of Ed’s autism is that he gets very uncomfortable in crowed places or with new people. For example, when we are out grocery shopping, after about 10 minutes Ed will start showing signs of distress and ask to leave. The noises and commotion at a place like Meijer or Wal-Mart can quickly overwhelm Ed’s senses.
In addition to Asperger’s Ed has ADHD and Dyslexia. Putting those 3 disorders together makes school a nightmare. This past year Ed was attending a school that specializes in children with special needs. Half way through the year, the school asked us to start homeschooling Ed. He just was not able to cope with being in the classroom all day. Ed’s therapist tested his intelligence, which showed he had a higher than average IQ, but due to his various disorders, he couldn’t function in a school setting. In fact, we think his relatively high IQ often makes his situation worse since he knows he should be doing better. This upsets him even more and causes him great frustration.
To help Ed we’ve been going to counseling since he was 4, often Ed just refuses to talk or cooperate. We’re trying medication for his ADHD and depression and it seems to be helping a little bit but it has other negative side effects. But Ed seems to have a special love for all animals, even worms and insects. He’ll carry them to safety if they are in harm’s way. Ed has a special fondness for dogs and they can have a very positive impact on children with autism. So we decided to try and get Ed an Autism Assistance Service Dog hoping it will help him cope with his disabilities and better integrate him into society as he reaches his teenage years. We reached out to 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit organization that trains and provides quality, task trained service dogs to children worldwide. After reviewing our application, interviewing us and receiving the doctors’ recommendations, they approved Ed for a service dog.
Ed is very excited about being able to receive a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability. Just the idea of having a dog and working towards our fundraising goal is already benefiting Ed. Our family has been discussing different ways to raise money. One of Ed’s suggestions was to get a bounce house and charge people $1 to come and play in it. He came up with the slogan “Raise your fun while we raise funds.” The kids also put up a lemonade and cookie stand one afternoon. They managed to earn $3.50 before being rained out. What we hope turns out to be a big event is a garage sale we are having this weekend. Not only do we have items from our household but family members and neighbors have been dropping off items for us to sell. They have been more than generous with their items and hopefully they will turn into a good amount of money for 4 Paws. When Ed’s grandpa stopped by today to drop off yard sale items Ed was more sociable than he normally is and even said thank you (when prompted) without a grunt or mumble under his breath. This may not seem like much but it was for Ed. Along with the garage sale the kids are going to set up a lemonade stand again. With the extra traffic coming for the garage sale they should surpass their last amount made.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Ed. 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 child’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Ed Wrona 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Jayson, Sarah, Ed, J.J. and Megan Wrona
Loving Ty likes to be a part of the action and seeks service dog to help
Ty Hugh Cathey-Hickerson was born on August 20, 1993. Ty arrived a little early but was a healthy 5lb 10½ oz bundle of joy! Ty met all of his developmental milestones within acceptable limits. Although a little after turning 2 years old Ty stopped talking and interacting with those around him. He entered his own world. Ty loved to climb EVERYTHING, would spin circles nonstop and would stay awake for days. Ty’s communication at that time was a high-pitched squeal.
At age 3, Ty was diagnosed with PDD/NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Not Otherwise Specified) and was later re-diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Ty, who is now 20, has faced many hurdles in his life some of them including:
Being nonverbal, meltdowns, wondering away, mood regulation, social anxiety, seizures, sensory integration issues and sleeping.
Ty has difficulty recognizing danger, knowing appropriate emotional responses to certain situations, he cannot be alone due to the severity of his seizures and needs reminders to eat, what to wear and even needs help to complete basic daily routines.
Ty is a sweet, loving, funny and curious young man who loves to spend time with his family, make crafts, use the computer, work in the yard and be part of all the action.
Ty has recently been approved by 4 Paws for Ability for a multi-purpose assistance dog.
4 Paws is a non-profit organization that believes service dogs committed to helping children with disabilities become more independent and successful.
What the dog will be able to do for Ty is help ease social anxieties, allow him to regulate some of the sensory assaults during his day, help him to rest and alert him and his family to oncoming seizures, allowing him to get to a safe location. The service dog will help our family in many scenarios including helping Ty to calm down in social situations as well as alerting us at night if Ty is trying to leave.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Ty. 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 Ty’s name in the “instruction to merchant” through Pay Pal. Or mail a check with Ty’s name on the memo line to: 4 Paws For Ability in honor of Ty. 253 Dayton Ave. Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Active toddler seeks furry BFF
Rayne Alexander Fantigrossi is a very active 3-year-old boy. When Rayne was about one and a half I started noticing a few things that seemed different. Our once very talkative, social son started to regress. At the time I chalked it up to his father returning from a deployment in Afghanistan. After some months passed we realized it was not simple regression due to the changes at home. Rayne stopped speaking all together and then he slowly stopped listening to anything we said. We wondered if he had lost his hearing and took him to be evaluated. We were told that his hearing was fine but we should start speech therapy. We started speech therapy and she recommended occupational therapy, as well. From there we went to an ENT to follow up on the possibly hearing issue. He sent us back to the regular pediatrician who along with Rayne’s therapy team sent us to yet another doctor. We ended up at the developmental pediatrician who gave us the diagnosis of moderate to severe classic autism.
Rayne’s biggest challenges are that he is nonverbal, lacks socialization skills, performs repetitive behaviors (stimming), and lacks safety awareness. Rayne often wants somebody to sit with him but NOT play with him. This is very difficult if not impossible at times when his father is away with the military and I’m here with two children. When there is no one to sleep in his room he oftentimes will not sleep. He will spend the entire night spinning, jumping or yelling. This frequently ends with him having slept only 3 or 4 hours in a night. Rayne is a very light sleeper so times when I’ve tried so lay down and leave later to feed his younger brother, Jayce, he wakes up an cries and does not go back to sleep even if you return to his room. He does sleep well when there is somebody to sit with him and he is not alone. Rayne loves to run. We often go as a family to the park to run/walk three or more miles per day. Even with all of that exercise Rayne is still all “go”.
Some of the biggest challenges we’ve faced as parents are Rayne wandering or running away and watching him be lonely if we can’t sit with him. He also resorts to stimming if we can’t do “squeeze therapy” with him which he needs frequently. We can’t go out without keeping a tight grip on Rayne. He will run away in a store or parking lot- he will even try to run away if you are walking from the car into the house. He does not understand not to run into a busy road. Multiple occasions I’ve had to sit his brother’s car seat down on the hospital’s sidewalk to run and grab Rayne when he’s pulled away from my grasp and was running toward a very congested road. He is getting too big to ride in carts at stores making shopping exceptionally difficult. He is very capable as far as motor skills. He can unlock doors whether they are locked with a key or if the locks are close to the ceiling. I am very short 5 feet tall and Rayne is 3-feet-6-inches tall so anything I can reach he can pretty much reach with a step stool or chair. He is also strong so he will move things you wouldn’t think he could move in order to climb up to get things he wants or unlock doors.
Rayne is very interested in cars, gardening, running, and science. He is very good at taking things apart. If he watches his dad put something together with tools he might get those tools out and take it apart again. If he can’t get the tools because they are outside or hidden he will use something that looks similar that he can find. He loves to dig and plant seeds and watch them come up. He also enjoys aquariums, the beach, and anything to do with marine life including watching science shows about animals and the ocean. He loves to swim and has been going to swim lessons since he was a baby. The only problem is that he does not understand water safety and when there is a body of water he wants to run and jump right in.
We are seeking an Autism service dog for Rayne. We believe that a dog would help Rayne try to communicate more. We hope that it would help him sleep in place of somebody lying in his room and would be able to do some of the “squish” therapy by sitting on his lap which would allow us to sleep and also get necessary chores done at home while allowing Rayne to have companionship and not feel lonely. A service dog would be able to disrupt some of his stimming by touching and nuzzling him and hopefully that would redirect him to interaction with the dog or something else. We would be able to tether the dog to Rayne so that we could go to the store, park or anywhere and not have Rayne run away without having to have our hands on him holding him all of the time. Some of Rayne’s doctors and therapists are very enthusiastic about the opportunity for him to have a service animal. They believe it will help him be able to live a more normal life and help long term with speech and socialization skills and we know that a dog would help us feel more comfortable when it comes to safety.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Rayne Fantigrossi. 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) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Rayne Fantigrossi, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Service dog could assist sweet Sophia in so many ways
My daughter is 7 years old, and her name is Sophia Jazmine Bigelow. Sophia had trouble right after birth, and she was labeled “failure to thrive.” As the year progressed, milestones slipped by with no sign of her reaching them. She did not sit up until she was 10 months old, she did not walk until she was 2 years, 2 months, and all other areas of development were delayed as well. After years of searching for the delay, she was diagnosed as Autistic, with intellectual disability. Then when she was 6 years old, she suddenly started regressing. This regression is still continuing. After a LOT of tests, the doctors believe she has a neurodegenerative disease.
Sophia has Autism, but she also has Batten Disease. Batten Disease is a rare neurodegenerative disease that is slowly robbing her of her abilities. Her speech has already disappeared, her autistic behaviors have worsened, she has no danger awareness, and bolts constantly. Batten disease will eventually rob her of her sight, her mobility, her ability to eat or even sit up. We have a long journey ahead.
Sophia has withdrawn into herself a lot, but when we get her to come out of her shell, we see a sweet, loving, happy, silly girl! She loves to jump on trampolines and bouncy houses; she loves water and swimming! She loves to run and she is very fast! Her happy place is with music and she will walk in circles with her music on.
What a multipurpose (Autism, mobility, seizure alert) Service Dog could do for Sophia:
- We can tether her to her dog, so she can’t bolt or dart into the road. This is very important and very needed.
- If she did ever escape, her dog would be able to track her scent and find her quickly. (This is extremely important! Unfortunately we have all seen the news lately and know how dangerous the typical wandering of autism can be.)
- Seizure alert
- Mobility (helping her walk more independently when this becomes hard)
- Autism dog (these dogs provide the deep pressure many kids with Autism love, as well as behavior disruption. This means the dog will help to distract Sophia from eating random objects, stimming constantly (flapping her hands in front of her face), help her calm down from tantrums and meltdowns, ect.)
- Companionship (very difficult for kids on the spectrum to make bonds with others, but it can be easier with dogs. Sophia has already shown her love for dogs.)
- Sense of security and safety for her (The dog can go to the hospital with her, to therapy and even to school! This will help her in transitions and in stressful situations.)
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Sophia. 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Sophia Bigelow, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Super 4 year old girl searching for a “super-dog”
My daughter Arabella Prater is 4 years old. She has had health issues her entire life. She is currently awaiting test results for a Mitochondrial disease. A few of her diagnoses include: low muscle tone, seizures, asthma, dysautonomia (the inability to regulate things such as her body temperature), hypoglycemia, visual impairment, chronic pain, vitamin/mineral/and amino acid deficiencies, fatigue, and chronic infections.
The biggest challenge with Arabella is making sure that those caring for her are knowledgeable about her condition (including her health care providers) and keeping her safe. We must carefully manage her blood sugar with frequent feedings and a feeding tube and she requires hospitalization for special IV fluids to prevent critically low blood sugars anytime she gets a stomach virus. We have to watch her more closely than most 4 year olds due to balance and depth perception problems. Daily activities and therapies require careful scheduling to avoid excessive fatigue or sensory overload.
Despite all of her challenges Arabella is full of life. She is a loving little girl who is obsessed with princesses, who loves animals and playing doctor, and she has a belly laugh that comes straight from her soul. She takes on her challenges with an incredible strength that only a 4 year old is capable of maintaining while referring to herself as Super-Arabella. Most importantly Arabella still believes in miracles and that she will feel better someday soon.
Arabella’s dog will be superdog! She is convinced it will be a female golden retriever that will love to play tea party. But even while her dog is having tea it will be doing potentially life saving work by alerting us to seizures or drops in blood sugar so that we can correct the problem before she ends up in bad shape. Her dog will help with mobility, sensory overload, and will be used for tethering, so that she can walk around with more independence without wondering off. Arabella’s dog will be her guardian angel and will keep her safe even when I need to sleep or cannot be by her side. It will be an invaluable addition to our family.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Arabella. 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), or mail a check with her name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Arabella Prater, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Family hoping to find a supportive service dog for their beloved Benjamin
Benjamin Michael Silverman was born on May 13, 2008 by emergency cesarean. When he drew his first breath he weighed a mere 4 lbs. and 8 oz. Due to multiple complications, Benjamin was in the NICU for almost 11 weeks where he survived a pulmonary hemorrhage, along with several other scary events. He was diagnosed with moderate to severe Left Ventricle Non-Compaction while in the NICU. There is no cure or fix for LVNC… only a heart transplant when his heart weakens.
Benjamin definitely had some delays and eating troubles, (he has a g-tube) but they kept pointing everything back to being a preemie. One day we were out and about, (Benjamin was about 10 months old), and there were several younger babies around him. They were lifting their heads, rolling around, and crawling. That’s the minute we knew something else had to be going on. Sure enough, they diagnosed him with cerebral palsy at the next doctor’s appointment. Medical experts still feel they haven’t quite diagnosed Benjamin. There are unanswered questions and we hope in the future to continue to learn more about Benjamin’s conditions or maybe get a diagnosis that would help us give Benjamin better support.
In the meantime, we know the best support he could have right now is a multipurpose service dog. Benjamin just turned five years old. He is non-verbal, has absent seizures that turn grand-mal and has major eating issues. He is also currently being tested for autism. He just started using his walker more consistently but still needs support getting around. His little life is filled with doctor appointments, tests, heart echos, blood draws, PT, OT, speech therapy and more medication then anyone should ever be on. This dog will be his loyal companion and friend, help Benjamin self-regulate his behavior, detect seizures, help with his mobility and bring some fun-loving normalcy to his little life. His service dog will also help him brave this big world with a best buddy by his side.
You cannot meet Benjamin and not just love him to pieces. His smile and contagious laugh will brighten the darkest day. We know that our Benjamin is a gift from God, and that his time here is a precious gift, and we want to do everything we can to enhance his life to the best of our ability. That is why we are so excited we discovered 4 Paws For Ability!
4 Paws for Ability, Inc. is a non-profit organization that places service dogs with children who have disabilities. They believe that service dogs should be made available to any child with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship, and independence that are the result of service dog placement.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Benjamin. 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), or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Benjamin Silverman, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
You can also keep tabs on our journey through our blog: http://thelifeandstoriesofbenjaminbutton.blogspot.com/
We are so grateful for those around us who continually support us and show us so much grace and love through this uncharted journey. We thank you!
Miakoda has had a long 9-year-road, seeks service dog for journey
Miakoda Samela Weekley is 9 years old. We first discovered that she was having problems 1 week after she was born. We had her in and out of the ER every other day. Finally they told us not to come back. When she turned 3 weeks old she was in her playpen. I had just gotten our oldest daughter ready for school when an unsettling feeling over whelmed me all at once. I ran into the other room and found our daughter lifeless not breathing. Immediately dialed 911 and started CPR. By the time that the ambulance had got to our house CPR had worked. They loaded her up and took her to the hospital. By the time that we had got there they told us that she had a stroke and heart attack. She then was flown to Children’s Hospital. When we arrived they said that she had started to have seizures that were lasting five minutes every hour. We then knew that we had a long road ahead of us. She was finally released when she was about 5 months old.
We went through a lot of physical therapy and hospital visits. Finally with all the meds and therapy we started on a road to recovery. Everything was on track for the next five years. Then she had another stroke and then her seizures became out of control again. We were on the same road again. We then started to battle the seizures, cognitive, arthritis and other medical issues. Now she is 9, and still battles her arthritis and seizures with two different meds, and has therapy at home. We do go to a lot of doctor appointments and some of those are over five hours away. She has troubles with crowds and stress. She sometimes has outbursts due to the over stress and cannot process some things correctly.
The challenges that we face on a daily basis are cognitive, stress, arthritis and seizures. The meds that she takes are a little challenging. Her balance is off sometimes and she does not get to do a lot of the things that others get to do. I do go to school with her because of her seizures and stress. School is a challenge for her because of her cognitive, stress. She cannot figure out why other students are doing work that she is not and why she has to go to special classes. The stress just builds. A lot of times her body hurts from the arthritis and the stress. Her hips, her knees, her ankles, her hands and her back just don’t like her. She has troubles getting out of bed, bending over, etc. Sometimes she uses her wheel chair when she is having a bad day or we are going to be out all day with the family and there is a lot of walking involved.
Miakoda likes horses, camping, fishing 4-H and playing outside. She does like sports but is mostly the team cheerleader. She is kind, sweet and very loving. She loves to make everyone happy. If she sees that someone is having a bad day or not happy she will do everything in her power to make them happy. She loves to think that someday that she can have her independence. She does not like the fact that she cannot do a lot of the things that the other kids can. She gets frustrated. She sometimes uses her wheel chair. The wheel chair is a challenge for her because it is hard for her to push herself around in. She likes to do things in town since we live in the country. But the crowds over whelm her at times. She is most of the time a target of bullying. The other kids just don’t understand that she is in the third grade but with the mentality and the learning ability of a 1st-grader. She struggles with the fact that they treat her differently at times. She struggles to fit in with the other kids.
We are applying for a seizure dog for Miakoda. The dog to us will not only mean that we are getting a new family member but, will provide a since of security and independence for Miakoda. The new family member will help her with her balance, seizures, mobility, and help her with her stress. Help her when she goes to the hospital and to Dr.’s appointments also.
It will cost 4 Paws $ 22,000 to place a do with Miakoda. We are committed to raising $ 13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach out 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Miakoda Weekley, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
The Weekley Family
Zachary seeks autism assistance dog
It wasn’t a surprise. We had suspected for almost a year. Zachary was 2, and could repeat an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but he could not put two words together on his own. He couldn’t answer me if I called his name. His peers were interested in playing together and Zach always preferred to play alone. My repeated efforts at bringing our concerns about our son’s development fell upon deaf ears at our pediatrician’s office. We heard the same phrases over and over again – “He’s a boy. Give him time. He’ll talk a little later.” As new parents, we trusted the advice of the doctors and waited. Our son grew deeper into his own world. We were desperate to get help for him. We began therapy and learned our new roles as special needs parents. The diagnosis was the first step in a journey that was going to be the most challenging and rewarding experience of our lives.
Zachary is now a bright, loving and energetic 4-year-old little boy. He loves to move! Running, jumping, swinging, sliding, twirling, spinning. He’s an active little guy. We try to feed this constant movement desire, but Zachary has absolutely no awareness of danger. He would run into a street without concern of cars. He has a tendency to wander off away from us if we aren’t clinging on to his hand or if he isn’t safely secured in a stroller. He sleeps in a zipped up tent that surrounds his bed because he would try to test our locks at night. We constantly fear for Zach’s safety. This concern is what initially led us to seek the services of an autism assistance dog.
4 Paws For Ability is an organization in Xenia, Ohio, that places certified Service Dogs with children with various disabilities. They train dogs specifically to the needs of individual children in order to provide them with safety, security and independence. Autism Assistance dogs are trained to provide a variety of sensory stimulations. They are trained to interrupt certain behaviors and calm meltdowns by laying across a child’s lap to give them pressure stimulation. They can also act as an anchor for a child that wanders away by being tethered to the child with a special waist strap attached to both the dog and the child. But most importantly, these dogs are trained to search and track a child that has gone missing. They can follow their scent and find a child who has fled within minutes. This skill alone is our main drive to secure a service dog for our son.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Zachary. 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) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Zachary Fiorillo, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Team Jacobly working hard toward service dog for toddler
Jacob R. was born one week past his due date in June 2010 after his mother firmly believed she was going to be pregnant for at least the rest of her life.
He arrived a mellow, watchful and sweet baby fawned over by family and friends. There were complications in his first months of life that were later determined to be caused by gluten intolerance, an intolerance he appeared to outgrow by 18 months. Just as he was outgrowing some of his digestive issues however, other things began to change.
He has always been the most determined of little boys, even from his first days of awareness of the world around him. His mobility began the day he learned to roll himself over easily as he became the king of the barrel roll. He rolled all around the space he was allowed to do so, discovering his world for months in this manner. When this apparently seemed inefficient to him, he began to crawl. When crawling seemed inefficient, he began to cruise. When cruising finally got old… He finally walked at 15 months. It was around 15 months he began to say a few words, mostly “num” for food and “no”, but by 18 months all of his words vanished and despite his inherent sweetness, it was easy for those who loved him best to see that there was something in play here bigger than a child taking his time meeting various milestones.
The road to diagnosis was not as hard for us as it is for some. When early intervention became involved with Jacob in early 2012, his therapists could easily see that there were hallmarks to his behavior that fit into the descriptors for Autism Spectrum Disorders. He lined up his toys rather than play like other children. He refrained from eye contact more often than he made eye contact. He did not gesture at all and rarely made any attempt at all to communicate anything to the people around him. He engaged in visual tracking behaviors, watching things out of the corners of his eyes to self-stimulate/self-soothe.
He was referred to a pediatric neurologist who gave a preliminary diagnosis of autism in August of 2012, his more complete (as complete as can be for a child so young) diagnoses coming in February of 2013: Autism Spectrum Disorder (classic autism), Sensory Processing Dysfunction and Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder.
It is now almost May of 2013 and as his mother writing this, I cannot imagine my child being any different from the child he currently is. I can certainly see him growing, evolving, thriving… But I see the heart of my sweet boy remaining hopefully the same
Jacob is by nature sweet, gentle, hilarious, physically gregarious and prone to intentional and unintentional comedy. His challenges are both obvious and subtle, the most glaring of which being his difficulty communicating. He is considered non-verbal, struggling frequently to make what he may need to convey known to those around him or just plain not bothering to go through the effort.
His words, which number 15-20 consistent and correctly used words right now, often fade and change. He is learning sign and picture communication to assist his need to communicate with his world. He also has no natural danger sense, which is not entirely unknown in toddlers but is deeper in a child like Jacob. An example of this is that Jacob had to be taught to put his hands out to catch himself when being lowered to the ground upside down because he has no instinct to make this self-preservation type maneuver on his own. He will bolt across parking lots, through crowded areas, towards areas of preference (bodies of water being a favorite yet most dangerous one) or he will engage in self-stimulatory behavior regardless of the danger it places himself in, a bad one since one of his favorite things to do is look at where paint lines cross in parking lots. He does not consistently respond to his name – only does so 25-50 percent of the time, less in public – and thus there is a lot of safety concerns surrounding day-to-day life for us.
We were led to apply for a service dog after incidents of Jacob attempting to get away from his adults began to grow more frequent and, frighteningly, more successful. His self-stimulatory behavior has also grown to a point that he will engage in it to the exclusion of all else, including awareness of what is going on around him. He will walk against the side of carts or walls in busy places, heedless to the fact that people cannot easily see him and will, through no true fault of their own, likely crash into him or worse.
An autism service dog from 4 Paws for Ability will be trained to either offer comfort or distraction to mitigate/break his self-stimulatory behavior as well as to work with Jacob by either being tethered to him while the dog is under a handler’s control to prevent running off and to be able to track Jacob from his last location should Jacob escape while the dog and he are not tethered.
The quality of life factors that a service dog could offer to Jacob are something so powerful that I cannot hope to consider a monetary value on it. It does, however, take $22,000 to raise and train a service dog. We are committed to raising $13,000 towards bringing a dog home for Jacob, money that helps 4 Paws for Ability continue their mission to helping improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities.
Nicole and Team Jacobly
Hazaiah faces challenges, seeks service dog
Hazaiah Thomas was born September 24, 2005. Shortly after he was born at the age of 8 months, he lost oxygen to his brain and began to have hemorrhaging in his lung and eyes. He received several blood transfusions and was not expected to make it through the night. Doctors said that if he did make it through the night he would never be the same.
Hazaiah made a miraculous recovery, but has also faced many challenges with meeting developmental milestones.
In the winter of 2009, Hazaiah was diagnosed with autism. It wasn’t until he started school in the fall of 2010 that we were really able to see how autism would affect his life. He wasn’t able to hold a pencil, cut with scissors; simple things like zipping his own pants were difficult for him. I made the decision at that point that no matter what happened that year I would retain him in Kindergarten and make sure he received the best service in and outside of school.
As Hazaiah’s mother, I was determined to do everything in my power to ensure that he could lead a prosperous and full life. This includes neuropsychology, psychology, psychiatry, ABA, and OT appointments. In addition to his appointments every morning we wake up and do therapeutic brushing, joint compressions, all while he is tuned into his listening system. Needless to say, we lead a very busy life. Everything we have done has proven to be helpful in stimulating Hazaiah’s brain and helping him to become more self sufficient and independent.
We would love to see Hazaiah to continue to get life changing help through his autism service dog. His dog will help him stay safe through His dog will help him stay safe through a tethering system, which would prevent him from impulsively running away in parking lots and public places.
His dog will help in calming him in the midst of sensory overload. And most importantly his dog will help him feel understood, something that all too many autistic children often do not feel because the world around them can’t seem to grasp how or why they operate the way they do.
Please help my family’s effort in continuing to change Hazaiah’s life for the better.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Hazaiah. 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) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Hazaiah Thomas, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you
Eiji seeks autism service dog
I knew when he was just hours old that there was something wrong, but he wasn’t formally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder until January, about a month before his 3rd birthday.
He faces many challenges:
- Stimming (he picks his nose until it bleeds)
- Hospitalization due to his food aversions. He has gotten so sick twice and we couldn’t get him to eat or drink anything so he ended up staying several days in the hospital hooked up to IVs.
- He doesn’t recognize the sense of hunger, so he’ll go days without eating unless you force him. He hasn’t grown much since he was 1 year old. Our 1-year-old son and he wear the same size clothing and weigh the same.
- No interactions with peers. He’s unable to play with other children, as he never moved past parallel play. The children notice and either run from him or make fun of him.
- He’s non-verbal. He cannot even tell you his name. If he gets lost, he won’t be able to tell anyone who he is or where he came from.
- We can’t really take him anywhere. He either wanders away or melts down. People around us tend to make nasty comments about how we should “beat” him or discipline him better.
-He harms himself when he’s angry. He beats his head into the floor, walls, or with his fists. Sometimes it takes nothing more than a look to set him off.
Eiji loves animals. My boss has two Labrador retrievers and they are the only “people” that he shows human affection towards. He plays with them every day. He asks for them if we’re not there by repeating their names over and over again.
He loves cars, especially finding out how they work. He’s got this drive to find out how everything works. He will make a great engineer some day.
He is highly intelligent. The pediatrician projects that he will be enrolled in college by 15 years old. He was reading at his second birthday without any instruction ever. He also will speak in Japanese, even though we can’t get him to speak in English. He has learned that merely from the anime that we watch.
He only has repetitive language. Meaning he only says things he’s heard that day. When he was getting his IV in February rather than scream “No! Stop! Ouch!” he was screaming “Hexagon! Apple Pie! Door!”
We’re hoping for two major things to happen for Eiji with an autism assistance dog—first to give him more freedom.
He wanders with no sense of danger. Being tethered to the dog will keep him from having to hold our hands (which he hates!) but won’t allow him to get away from us. We live in the D.C. Metro area and it’s a dangerous place for a 3 year old to get lost (traffic, thousands of people rushing about, etc.). The other is to give him a friend. Eiji has no friends. He can’t connect to other children, even though he tries so hard. He gets lonely and feels isolated because no one will interact with him except his siblings.
The other perks for him will be to have a constant familiar presence when transitioning from one activity or place to another. He has a really hard time shifting gears and we’re hopeful that having the dog as a constant he’ll be better able to do it.
We also hope he’ll start sleeping in his own bed with his forever friend. He’s never slept in his own bed. Ever. Even as an infant we couldn’t get him to.
As he gets older, we’re fearful that the wandering will turn into running off. We’re afraid that we’ll wake up one morning and he’ll have gotten out of the house. Having a dog to point us in the right direction could be the difference between life and death for him.
Meltdowns are a daily struggle for us. We’re hopeful that the dog will discourage meltdowns and also be able to pull him out of them by redirecting his attention or lying across his lap.
His stimming (making his nose bleed) would be able to be redirected by the dog as well.
Eiji gets his name from an anime character (my husband is Asian and we wanted our children to have Asian names). Eiji is a character that plays tennis. He’s a happy go lucky guy whose head tends to stay in the clouds. Ironically, that’s exactly how our son is. Eiji is a great tennis player but he plays doubles with his best friend Oishi. Oishi is his best friend and has his feet firmly planted on the ground. He’s a very kind and gentle guy who keeps Eiji out of trouble and helps him with his struggles. They are the perfect yin and yang. They are called the “Golden Pair” because they are so perfect together as friends that they are unstoppable on the tennis court. We are hopeful that we’ll be able to name Eiji’s dog Oishi to honor the bond that they’ll have, just as the Golden Pair did. It sounds cheesy to many, but it means a lot to us.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Eiji. 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Eiji Hoffman, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Mom seeks seizure-alert dog for young son
Caleb Joseph Morgan will be 8 years old on May 29, 2013. At 35 weeks gestation, I was rushed to the hospital due to reduced fetal movement where the doctor performed an ultra sound. Caleb’s heart rate was barely detectable. We learned that there had been a hemorrhage in the umbilical cord, which has caused medical issues including global brain damage, microcephaly, hydrocephalus, vision impairment and epilepsy. Caleb’s cognitive function is comparable to a 7-month-old and he requires full assistance in all areas of daily living.
Caleb has faced challenges such as blood transfusions, surgery, seizures, and frequent medical exams (MRI, CTs, EEGs, etc). As a parent, my daily challenges include monitoring seizure activity while driving, sleeping, eating, and while performing household duties. Caleb’s seizures range in severity from mild and needing no assistance, all the way to being violent and requiring CPR. At one time, I had to perform CPR in the median of a busy highway because a seizure had caused him to stop breathing. For me, those are the worst ones. When he quietly slips into an absence seizure and stops breathing. No thrashing or convulsing. Just sitting there and quietly drifting away. We had a g-tube (feeding tube) placed in Caleb’s stomach to administer seizure medications more accurately hoping that would keep seizures better controlled. Unfortunately, the uniformed dosages have not prevented the seizure activity even though he is currently on four daily medications.
Although Caleb faces many medical issues, he is a very happy boy. He cannot communicate with us in a way a typical 8-year-old would, but he can say a few words and let us know when he wants to eat or drink by making specific sounds. He loves being outside riding the four-wheeler, taking walks, and playing with the family dog. He is also a baseball player on the Greenwood Miracle League.
A seizure-alert service dog would be beneficial to us because it will give us more peace of mind while traveling, sleeping or doing any other daily activity that is simple for families who do not face our challenges. We also believe that having the dog would help Caleb in social situations that typically make him uneasy such as large crowds, loud noises, and new places by giving him something to focus on.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Caleb. 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) or mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Caleb Morgan, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Mia Isabella Perez is looking for partner in independence
She was our third child and our last, and we were so happy and excited to welcome her to our close-knit family. Emma, her older sister, was excited to have a little playmate, someone to dress up and play teacher with. What a magical day. The moments of that day are unbelievably vivid in my mind, a glimpse of how emotionally charged that day was. I knew immediately from the moment I held her after she was born, however, that something wasn’t right, but I was continually reminded that I was tired.
I was told, “There is a 1-year-old at home, your hormones are raging, etc.” However, she was immediately taken for testing with the preface of, “everything is going to be OK, Mrs. Peres.”
Fast-forward two years, and we have a diagnosis. Are you ready? She was diagnosed as having Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy, left-sided hemiparesis with dyspraxia and ataxia of speech. Basically she had a stroke that left her left side weaker. She has flaccid muscle tone (hypotonic), the stroke affected her mid-brain (Cerebral Palsy is associated with mid-brain injury or the area of the brain that affects movement), dyspraxia has to do with motor planning, what it takes your brain to initiate and carry out a movement and ataxia is the motor planning aspects of speech, etc.
Regardless of all the doctor visits and diagnosis and blood tests and surgeries and therapies and that diagnosis – she is our ray of sunshine.
Her tenacity and her spirit have proved every single doctor wrong. She crawls and is pulling herself up to stand. She cruises on furnisher. She is our Mia. She has forced us all to grow and adapt both individually and as a family, and now we are experiencing more of that growth. She is an unstoppable force of nature. She is moving and striving for her independence. As her mom, I will always be her loudest and proudest cheerleader, and that leads me to the present situation at hand.
She needs a partner in crime, a companion in her mission to become more independent. She needs a doggy; a doggy that will accept her the way other kids at the playground don’t, because they see the walker coming. She needs a companion that will bond with her, one who isn’t mom and dad and family; a doggy all her own, that can help her open doors and grab things that have fallen and can help her with her walker. A partner that won’t want to tame the force of nature, but rather go along for the ride, because she deserves that, she deserves independence to succeed on her own terms, just like all children do, not despite her disability, but because of her great ability.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Mia. 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 child’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with his/her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Mia Isabella Perez, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Miriam & Edward
Riley knows, ‘no battle is won without leaving scars’
Riley is 7 years old with an infectious smile and a laugh that will melt your heart. His loving personality and bright eyes will make you fall in love with him in an instant. Just by looking at him, you would never know what he has been through in his short life.
Riley was diagnosed, at 18 months, with severe intractable epilepsy. With the progression of seizures, Riley has developed severe developmental delays and is non-verbal. By the time he turned 4, he was tested and shown to be at the level of a 3-month-old. His EEG’s were showing that he was having over 100 seizures a day. Not only were they taking a toll on his brain, but his body as well. We tried everything from medications and herbal supplements, to the Ketogenic diet. None of it seemed to work.
The day after his 4th birthday, Riley had his first brain surgery. The doctors performed a Corpus Callosotomy, where they separated the right side of the brain from the left side. After a very quick recovery, Riley began to flourish, regaining the abilities he lost and learning some new ones. A short 10 months later the seizures returned with a vengeance, and once again started pulling our precious boy away from us.
Last October, Riley had his second brain surgery to remove the spot that was generating his seizures. The doctors successfully removed the seizure generator. Since his last surgery, Riley has once again begun to flourish as a little boy.
No battle is won without leaving scars, and Riley is no exception. Though the seizures may be gone, (hopefully for good this time), he suffers from the toll they took on his brain. Riley still has severe developmental delays, as well as being non-verbal. He shows no fear or sense of danger; combine that with his strength and quickness, and is a walking recipe for devastation. In public people stare and whisper because they think he is just an ill-tempered kid acting out, when in reality he is so excited to be out of the house. Outside of our family, Riley does not have many friends. Most children just stare or ask, “What’s wrong with him?”
Receiving a Multipurpose Assistant Dog would give Riley the ability to do so much, as well as give him confidence and independence. Children would no longer see a boy with disabilities, but a friend with a dog. People would no longer whisper behind his back in public, but rather come and talk to Riley about the dog that just kept him from having a meltdown at the mall. Plus, it is always nice to have an extra set of eyes and hands, or paws in this case, for the next time a fire truck rolls by with the sirens blazing, and Riley decides to try and run out into traffic to chase it. We know the dog would help us in distracting those behaviors and keeping Riley safe. If Riley decides to try and wander off, these dogs are trained to help track him as well. And for anyone who knows Riley, knows he is a wanderer. We know having this dog would do so much for Riley.
4 Paws for Ability, Inc. is a non-profit organization that places service dogs with children who have disabilities. They believe that service dogs should be made available to any child with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship, and independence that are the result of service dog placement.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Riley. 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, or mail a check with his name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Riley Brown, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
-Jason & Ashley England
4 Paws for little ballerina
Mercedes Ciara-Li Johnston is a loving 5-year-old girl with a very compassionate heart. She loves playing dress up, with her Lalaloopsy rag dolls, and with her baby brother. She has just started ballet after about two years of asking, but she enjoys all kinds of dance. She played hockey this winter, but is now showing interest in figure skating.
She was adopted into our family at the age of 2, just six months after her older brother. Around the age of 3, we started to notice similar characteristics that her brother had shown before being diagnosed with Static Encephalopathy alcohol exposed. Mercedes was diagnosed with Static Encephalopathy the same form of FASD as her older brother at the age of 5. Along with this Mercedes suffers from a sensory disorder where she is easily over stimulated and can’t recover from being overloaded without a significant amount of time passing. Mercedes also suffers with an extreme fear of being left behind and can easily get disoriented to where she feels that she is lost.
Mercedes is currently in Kindergarten and trying her best. Some days she is unable to complete her homework due to her sensory disorder and being over stimulated. When she is over stimulated she can quickly become angry and frustrated and doubt her abilities to complete the task at hand.
Like all parents we try to provide the best for our special ballerina. Mercedes sees an occupational therapist twice a week for sensory, a speech therapist once a week for language, a counselor once a week that specializes in working with children with FASD and activity therapist one or two times per week. Our next major goal for Mercedes is to be able to provide her with a FASD assistance dog.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability that looking from the outside in you may never be able to tell a person has this disability. That’s why they call FASD the hidden disability. We are hoping that Mercedes is able to get an FASD assistance dog so that her triggers can be recognized earlier and meltdowns diffused quicker so that she can bond socially with her peers and others. We are hoping that when the meltdowns do occur her service dog will be able to provide her with the deep pressure she needs to calm down and that the service dog will be there for her when she becomes over stimulated. Last but not least we want the service dog for her safety incase she wanders off she can be tracked and if she begins to feel disoriented and her fear of being left behind sets in she will have her service dog at her side to hold onto and accompany her.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Mercedes. We are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws Mission and can reach our goal with your help. Any help that can be provided would be greatly appreciated. If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include Mercedes name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws For Ability, In Honor of Mercedes Johnston, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, OH 45385.
We would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our heart for your support and help in making this dream come true for our little ballerina.
-Robert and Season Johnston
Wanted: Service dog for Ivey
Ivey is a 7-year-old girl who has gone through a lot in her short life. She was born with myelomeningocele spina bifida. She is energetic and wants to feel included and enjoy every moment of her childhood. She goes to school, attends physical and occupational therapy, enjoys piano, violin and takes modified dance lessons.
Balance and core strength are major issues for her and she is frequently at risk for falling down. She wears orthopedic shoes and AFOs (braces) in order to walk but for longer distances she uses her wheelchair since she fatigues easily and suffers from joint pain.
A mobility service dog will assist Ivey with mobility support and will help to increase her independence. The dog can assist with such tasks as pulling the wheelchair uphill-such as a ramp, pushing elevator buttons and handicap-accessible doors, carry items, pick up dropped items, steady her when she walks, help prevent falls, assist with getting her to her feet if she falls and be available for emotional support (especially since she has so many medical appointments, procedures and life challenges that increase her anxiety).
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Ivey. 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 Ivey Goodwin in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Ivey Goodwin, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Lil’ fighter needs furry partner
By Robin Howard
Born early at 27 weeks gestation, Nicholas Howard came into this world as a fighter and as with many premature babies; he was placed on a ventilator and was given a feeding tube immediately after birth.
Born 13 weeks early we were faced with several life threatening health issues and there were several times the physician and nurses told me that they just were not sure if he was going to make it.
He was in the hospital for several months and during that time he experienced two collapsed lungs and numerous infections. When Nicholas would have his good days I would think, ” Yes, mama’s little man is a fighter and is going to be okay.” Then things would take a turn for the worse and I would wonder how much more fight is left in my little man.
At 3 months old, he was discharged from the hospital and Nicholas wore oxygen and a sleep apnea monitor continuously for the next seven months. By the time my little fighter was 6 months old he had his first surgery. He had undergone two groin hernia repairs and a hypospadias repair. When he was three he had undergone three more surgeries. The first was an exploratory surgery to see what was the mass in his abdomen—the other two where the removal of urachal cysts, which developed MRSA both times following the surgeries.
Due to being premature I expected Nicholas to have physical, mental, and social delays. As he got older his Headstart teacher and I began to notice his behavior was different from the others. Nicholas didn’t like being around other kids, he didn’t like loud noises, and would get very upset and have meltdowns if any part of his routine varied in any way. He also started “parroting” words and actions of cartoons and super hero characters he would see on television.
Nicholas also developed several tics, which include teeth grinding, facial elongation, and hand flapping. He also puts his hands together and taps them together; tap his fingers objects, and taps fingers on mouth. I took Nicholas to neurologist and he was diagnosed Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) a type of autism spectrum disorder, Severe Anxiety, ADHD, Migraines, Asthma, and a Vitamin D Deficiency.
Like any parent, especially those of a special needs child, I try to provide Nicholas with whatever he needs to face his challenges. He is now attending school and sees an occupational therapist weekly to work on his motor skills. My next goal is to provide Nicholas with an autism assistance dog. This dog would bring comfort to Nicholas during his meltdowns and hopefully make it easier to open up socially with his peers by focusing the attention on the dog.
An autism assistance dog would also help with my biggest concern, which is the safety of Nicholas. While he is very afraid of strangers and doesn’t like going to crowded places, he does have the habit of being in his own world and not paying attention to where he is walking off to. Nicholas would be tethered to the dog and this would keep him from walking off and possibly getting hurt because he isn’t paying attention.
Nicholas, once he gets to know you, is funny, bright, outgoing, and loving little boy. As any parent would say, I just want what’s best for my little man. He had to overcome so many different obstacles and unfortunately there are many more in his future. I really believe with all my heart that having a service dog would make a huge positive impact on his life and would help Nicholas face whatever tomorrow holds for him with peace in his heart and a smile on his face.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Nicholas and I am committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission. The only way I can meet this goal is with the help of caring individuals such as you. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Nicholas get this autism assistance dog, please mail a check with his name on the memo line to:
4 Paws For Ability
In Honor of Nicholas Howard
235 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 47385
If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include his name: Nicholas Howard, in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal.
On behalf of my little man, my fighter, my life, my son Nicholas Howard, I thank each of you with all of my heart for helping me help him.
Sweet, loving teenage girl seeking seizure-alert dog
By Paige Murakami
She is 16 years old, and was diagnosed with Epilepsy when she was just 6 years old. Alana has a seizure disorder called Jeavons Syndrome, and we deal with seizures often. It affects every part of our life, and hers.
Alana has had to deal with a lot, because of her condition. She is often a target for bullying, and teasing which leads to Alana being angry, sad, and confused. She doesn’t understand why. It breaks our heart for her, because all she has is love for everyone even the ones that tease her.
She is the sweetest most loving child who just wants to be accepted. I just wish people in general could learn to look at everybody, and love them for what they bring to the table.
Alana is full of life, and loves to laugh, and have fun. She enjoys dancing, listening to music, and putting puzzles together. She loves food especially lasagna, and chili. Alana is challenged in a lot of areas, but never lets get her down. She continues to work hard everyday without complaint. She is a joy to have around, and all we want for her is to feel the joy that she gives to others.
I believe a seizure-alert dog could do that. I know a dog would give her confidence, and such joy. She loves animals, and tells us all the time if she were to get a dog she’d love it, and cuddle it, and take care of it, and it would be her best friend. Alana right now doesn’t feel confident enough to get more than an eyes view from anyone because of her seizures. I know that if she had a dog that would change.
A service dog would provide so much love, and joy, and a confidence she hasn’t had in a really long time. She struggles daily with understanding of the littlest tasks sometimes. Alana struggles academically, and doing the smallest of tasks sometimes not because she can’t do it. It is because she doesn’t remember what certain things are or the meanings of words. For example, she was asked to go get a broom out of the garage, and after several minutes had passed. I went out to find her, and she was standing in the middle of the garage crying, because she couldn’t remember what a broom was. She is aware of her struggles, and that is part of reason she struggles so bad.
We just want for her to feel accepted and loved. I know that dog will help get her through her darkest days when talking to mom isn’t good enough.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Alana. 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 child’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Alana Christine Mulvany, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Teen with autism seeks service dog
By John & Laurie Smith
She is very artistic and you will find her often drawing in her sketchbook, turning that wonderful imagination into pictures on a page. She especially loves drawing pictures of wolves. This talent is an icebreaker for the few social relationships that she has. She is very passionate and knowledgeable about animals. She mimics their sounds and they respond immediately, you would almost think they were talking to each other.
During a trip to one of the area wildlife centers, she became interested in Lemurs. She has helped raise money for the Duke Lemur Center. She is quite a remarkable young lady. Marisa has endured 3 brain surgeries to correct a congenital brain deformity and has been diagnosed with autism and has extreme sensory issues. She does not function independently.
Every day is a struggle for her. She has many challenges in school and other social settings. Everyday changes and transitions tend to be very traumatic experiences that greatly increase her already inflated anxiety levels. She cannot interpret body language and facial expression as well as the rest of us and often misunderstands people’s intentions. In overwhelming situations she feels like she has to get away (she has wandered off of school grounds unexpectedly and gone missing on more than one occasion) so she must be monitored constantly. She experiences night terrors that leave her screaming and thrashing in her bed.
An autism service dog would help calm her during the anxious, stressful and overwhelming times. They would be there to wake her and take her out of those traumatic dreams that leave her fearful. It would be a companion to a child with very few people she can call friends and maybe help open up the doorway to new relationships with her peers.
A service dog would be there to calm, distract and redirect Marisa when she feels like she needs to get away from those overwhelmingly stressful situations. Marisa receiving a service dog will be a true blessing to our family! It will allow her to gain more independence and provide a safety net for her, as well as peace of mind for us, her parents.
We have agreed to become volunteers for 4 Paws for Ability, to help raise $13,000 to support their mission of being able to place service dogs to families who need them.
4 Paws for Ability is a non-profit organization that places service dogs with children who have disabilities. They believe that service dogs should be made available to any child with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship, and independence that are the result of service dog placement.
With your help, we can reach our goal, and 4 Paws can begin the 11-month process of training a dog for Marisa. Thank you so much!
If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include the child’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Marisa Smith, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
John & Laurie Smith
Aarilynne in need of seizure-alert service dog
By Holly McConnell
Aarilynne McConnell is a bright, sweet, and very beautiful 4-year-old little girl who lives with her parents, an older sister, and a younger sister in Summerville, S.C. However, Aarilynne suffers from several debilitating medical complications as well as global developmental delays (GDD).
Aarilynne was born 6 weeks prematurely after a complicated pregnancy. We knew Aarilynne was a very special child the moment we laid eyes on her. She was not breathing at birth and had to be intubated for several hours, then she was placed on a nasal C-pap for several days while she was in NICU.
While she was still in the hospital we noticed her whole body would tremble and vibrate spontaneously. The doctors said that the tremors were due to her having an underdeveloped nervous system from her prematurity. We accepted this response for the time being.
When Aarilynne was 2 months old the tremors were still present, so her pediatrician referred her to a neurologist who diagnosed her with Clonus.
Aarilynne began physical therapy at 4 months old to help with her gross motor development, which was already showing delays. Her physical therapist noticed that Aarilynne was having staring spells. Her neurologist said they were absent seizures.
Then at 5½ months old Aarilynne had her first Grand Mal seizure. This seizure was accompanied by a high fever and lasted 55 minutes nonstop. Once the doctors were able to get the initial seizure to stop Aarilynne continued to have seizures every 5-10 minutes lasting 10-15 minutes each for the next 4 hours.
That was the longest night of our lives! We were so afraid we were going to lose our precious angel. After a week in the hospital following several MRI’s, CT Scans, and EEG’s, Aarilynne was released. As time went on, Aarilynne continued to suffer from numerous Grand Mal seizures monthly averaging 40 minutes per seizure.
She has had multiple inpatient and outpatient EEG’s, MRI’s, and CT Scans performed as well as several hospital stays and ER visits due to her seizures. Her neurologists felt Aarilynne needed to be seen by a specialist.
At the age of 2, Aarilynne was referred to a neurogenetisist in Atlanta, GA. During our stay in Atlanta, Aarilynne had a mitochondrial test performed as well as a muscle biopsy of her left thigh, and a lower lumbar puncture. The results of these tests were devastating to our family. It was found that Aarilynne has a gene mutation called SCN1A. With this finding, Aarilynne was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome.
She was also diagnosed with Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Dravet Syndrome is a very rare neurological disorder that has global effects on the nervous system, mostly presenting in various forms of seizures. There are several triggers to Aarilynne’s seizures. Being too hot, too cold, over exerted or too sleepy are just some of the triggers that puts Aarilynne into seizures.
Everything has to be carefully monitored for her, including bath water temperature. There is currently no cure for Dravet Syndrome. To date Aarilynne has suffered from over 2,000 seizures of various types. She averages 6 to 8 Grand Mal seizures a month. She has multiple absent seizures and seizure clusters daily.
Aarilynne has been on 11 different medications in a variety of combinations to help control her seizures. Unfortunately we haven’t had much success. We have been lucky enough to be able to help bring some of her seizure lengths down to 5 to 10 minutes with some medications. This is something Aarilynne will always have to live with and this is a challenge we will face as a family!
She will always have constant visits to doctors, therapists, and hospitals. But Aarilynne is proving she is a fighter and she is determined to overcome this disability. Aarilynne has fortunately been approved to receive a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability located in Xenia, Ohio. 4 Paws for Ability is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for children and adults with special needs.
Aarilynne will receive a service dog who will be trained to alert us if she is in a seizure, perform search and rescue should she get lost, tethering (where both Aarilynne and the service dog will wear special harnesses to prevent Aarilynne from running off into parking lots and in public places), as well as assist with behavior control.
Aarilynne receiving this service dog will be a true blessing to our family! It will allow Aarilynne to gain more independence and provide a safety net for her, as well as peace of mind for us, her parents. In accepting this service dog, we have agreed to become volunteers for 4 Paws to help raise $13,000 to support their mission of being able to place service dogs to families who need them.
We are asking that donations of any amount be sent to 4 Paws For Ability, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385, in honor of Aarilynne McConnell. Donations are tax deductible and can be made in the form of check, money order, or online at www.4pawsforability.org/donations.html. Please be sure to put “In Honor of Aarilynne McConnell” in the memo section of checks and money orders or in the special instructions section online.
Please help us reach our goal of $13,000 so Aarilynne can receive her service dog and move forward to a more independent and safe life. For a further look into what life is like for Aarilynne, please view a video made by her family – Life with Epilepsy and Dravet Syndrome.
Jamiee Lynn’s heart needs furry BFF
By Star Hein
My name is Star Hein, I am the proud mom to Jamiee Lynn.
My daughter was born ready for a long hard fight. She was born with a severe heart condition called Shone’s Complex. Which basically means there are multiple problems with the left side of the heart. She was also born with a chromosome defect called 22q11.2 Duplication. There are only about 30 reported cases in the world. Due to complication associated with her heart she had a stroke at 2 years old. The stroke has caused her to have balance and strength issues. Around the same time we were told that Jamiee had ADHD.
Jamiee is now 5 years old and we have been told that not only does she have ADHD, but she also shows signs of autistic behaviors along with social and sensory disorders. Jamiee is extremely sweet and loving, but going out into large crowds can cause major melt downs and Jamiee basically breaks down. We have had to leave a lot of places due to it. Going to the store can be very trying at times too. My daughter has a lot of behavioral issues due to medical history and not understanding how to process situations. And when she does talk, she doesn’t understand social cues.
I feel with the help of 4 Paws for Ability Jamiee can be partnered with a service dog to better help her. The dog would help with her balance issues, and also help with her social and autistic issues too. Jamiee loves dogs so very much and we are praying this is the answer to help our princess.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Jamiee. We are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission. And with your help, I think we can do that. If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws donation page (www.4pawsforability.org) or mail a check with Jamiee’s name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In honor of Jamiee Lynn Hein, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Sabrina, the ‘social butterfly,’ needs behavior disruption, sensory therapy service dog
By: Esther Medellin
And while she doesn’t understand the rules that apply to the game, she does know what she has to do when she’s got the ball. But life has always been about more than laughter and playing ball for Sabrina.
We discovered prior to age 2, when Sabrina was not crawling, turning over/walking, etc., that she had hypotonia, which she then had throughout her toddler years. She underwent physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Currently, she still has very limited speech and currently knows approximately 30-35 words, however, she cannot put words together to make sentences. She has a rare unbalanced chromosome deletion. She has a partial deletion of her #22 and a duplication of her #2 chromosomes.
Sabrina walks with an unusual gait, and is currently wearing DAFOs (Dynamic Foot Ankle Orthosis) for corrective support for both feet.
The challenges my husband and I have faced are primarily sadness and frustration, simply because there is basically no cure for her condition, and not many cases with her condition that we can relate to or compare.
Sabrina has always been a happy, but the older she has gotten, the more challenges arise. Her inability to express herself has caused her more frustration. We have had a difficult time going to stores/restaurants without some sort of episode or meltdown.
She is unaware of potentially dangerous situations, i.e. crossing the street, going with a stranger, etc.
She’s got a great personality. She has always been a happy child and is still happy, but more frustrated at times. For having such limited speech, Sabrina is what I like to call a social butterfly! She is very interactive and will initiate conversation (i.e. saying, “Hi!”) with anyone.
Sabrina is in a self-contained classroom, but her class is mainstreamed throughout the day. Her favorite class is gym and she just loves to stay active! She absolutely loves school and is very popular with her peers. A lot of the kids, both in mainstream and special education just love her and will protect her while she’s at school.
While I am aware that she is the one that is facing such great challenges, it is not only hard for us parents to boost her spirits, but physically draining.
I know that Sabrina can feel alone at times, but I am certain that a behavior disruption and sensory therapy service dog would provide her with not only physical, but also emotional support. I am hoping this dog will also help to ease her daily frustrations and provide comfort to minimize with her emotional meltdowns.
My husband and I feel truly blessed to have Sabrina in our lives, and have always wanted to give her something that will make a difference in her life. She doesn’t seem to be phased by material things, nor has she ever. I believe that this dog will make a huge impact and difference in her little world and we cannot wait for the opportunity! So far, we have raised close to $200, but we have just started our fundraising. We are certain we will accomplish this for Sabrina!
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Sabrina, and her family is 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) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Sabrina Medellin, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.
Gerren seeks ‘calm-down’ dog
By L’Tanya Durante
“A dog is the only thing that can mend a crack in your broken heart.” -Judy Desmond
And there are times when our heart breaks for our 8-year-old son, Gerren. On the outside, he is compliant, helpful, funny and playful. At home, he is often defiant and belligerent. Any number of triggers can send him into a tailspin of spitting, throwing, hitting and screaming. Forget about mama—when my son ‘ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’
You can read the entire column here: http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2011/02/06/62287/holding-on-tight.html
Gerren was diagnosed with a mood disorder at the age of 4. Even though we continue to see therapists and rotate medications, the truth is that the minute-to-minute ups and downs are hard to manage. They have taken a toll on his older brother, on our marriage, on his grandmother’s health, and especially on Gerren.
At one of our crossroads, his brother simply said, “Gerren needs a dog.”
That divine intervention led to research on psychiatric service dogs, which led to discovering 4 Paws For Ability.
4 Paws For Ability is a non-profit agency that places service dogs with children who need them, even if as in our case, their disability isn’t always visible. 4 Paws For Ability specifically trains dogs to meet the needs of each child. So when Gerren is triggered, we’ll signal Pickles to interrupt him – go over and nudge, play and distract. That little loving nudge may be just the thing to prevent what could be a two-hour meltdown. That nudge could ultimately help Gerren start to recognize his own triggers and re-direct behavior.
Who’s Pickles? Well, Pickles is the name Gerren has already given his “calm-down” dog. When we’re weary and wondering what our next step will be, thinking about how excited Gerren is about caring for a dog – his dog – gets us excited.
Gerren is such a cool little guy. He has so personality and gifts to offer this world. We want to make sure he has every tool to help him succeed.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Gerren. 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 or mail a check with her name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, ‘In Honor of Gerren,’ 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Thank you.
Help Cayden get service dog
By Deloris Whaley
Cayden Whaley, 6, was fussy as a toddler, but still he was a joy. He went to pre-school for about four months when he was 3, then attended Head Start when he was 4 years old.
As a preschooler, Cayden became very hyperactive. As he started getting a little older, he became hyperactive. It was and still is very hard for him to switch from one activity to another. He has a hard time in school because its hard for him to sit and focus on anything for very long time and if doesn’t finish something he has a meltdown.
He doesn’t seem to hear me when I tell him something and he doesn’t seem to process it. For example, he will ask for something to drink I get it and put it on the table and tell him it’s there he will go on about his business for quite a while and then say “You forgot to get me something to drink.”
Cayden is high-needs. I have a daycare and it’s very hard to get anything done because he gets bored very easily. He has separation anxiety to the point where he has a hard time going to school. I have to drag him to the bus every day. Cayden won’t go to the bathroom unless I’m close by. He won’t go in his room by himself and doesn’t like to go anywhere or do anything. I made him go to swimming lessons, and now he likes to swim.
I also took him to play hockey, and while he didn’t like it the first year, the second year he did much better.
Cayden loves Thomas the Train, loves Chuck E. Cheeses and Hot Wheels. For this summer he wants to go see Mount Rushmore.
A service dog could help him with his meltdowns and help him to be more independent. I’m hoping that the dog will be able to go to school with him and he will have an easier time leaving me.
We heard about 4 Paws for Ability and their FASD Service Dogs. We think obtaining a dog for Cayden would be beneficial to us. 4 Paws has a unique approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Cayden. 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/donation.html) or mail a check with Cayden’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Cayden
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
4 Paws 4 Gabriel
Gabriel Lacerda is a 3-year-old on the autism spectrum currently diagnosed with PDD-NOS. He has just started to speak in the last seven months due to extensive therapy that took 26+ hours a week. However, on his third birthday, he aged out of extensive therapy services and into ABA integrated classroom with peer partners as well as additional speech and OT.
Gabriel is very active and needs to move all the time; he can’t slow himself down and is always running around. This excessive amount of energy exhausts him but his need to move overrides the need to rest and he keeps moving wearing his body out. He has GI issues starting with lactose intolerance, and the textures of most food put him off, making his selection of foods he can enjoy very minimal. He has started using full sentences recently and interacting and play outdoors. He has no fear. He leaps from high furniture and tries to leave the house to explore, even without an adult… and scariest of all, he has a dangerous attraction to water like many autistic children.
Crowds overwhelm him and he does not like to be carried for too long and is very independent. This dog will allow him to walk safely with us with out wandering off but with independence. He loves to Smile and Laugh, and could really use the communities help to donate whatever amount they can to help him get closer to his goal of staying safe.
We are dedicated to helping raise money for service dogs, and in the process, receive an autism service dog ourselves. Our goal is to raise $13,000 for the charity 4 Paws for Ability, A.S.A.P.
These service dogs are trained to comfort during meltdowns, interrupt inappropriate repetitive or self-injurious behaviors, and provide comfort and companionship as well as tracking a child if they become lost. 4 Paws for Ability eliminates a long waiting list by allowing their clients’ family, friends, and community to raise $13,000 to in support of their mission.
You can Help by Clicking on the link “How YOU can help” and making a donation to 4 Paws for Ability in Gabriel’s Honor. Please remember any amount helps and no amount is too small. By donating you will bring him closer to having his own service dog that can make his fight against autism a little simpler.
Let’s give Corrina a seizure service dog!
By Corrina’s mother
Corrina was a fine and healthy young girl, got good grades in school, and her teachers enjoyed having her around. I did notice when she was a toddler that she walked late. She also didn’t speak, so when she started preschool she wasn’t able to do much in terms of following directions and communicating, so she attended speech and language therapy for three or four years.
Her seizures started when she was in the sixth grade. She had just had lunch when she fell to the floor. Some teachers were nearby and saw students trying to help her, and ran over to them. Her eyes were rolled back, her face was purple, and she was not breathing. Corrina’s coach did CPR on her until she started breathing again.
When the news media found out what had happened, they did a story on her. We also got hold of the news station to see if we could nominate her coach for teacher of the week and they agreed, so Corrina was on the news once more.
Things began getting worse: low grades in subject after subject. The teachers called my attention to the fact that she daydreamed a lot in school and that she seemed to stare at them like she was paying attention, but they when they’d call her name she had no idea what was going on. That’s when we found out she also has staring seizures.
Now she’s in 9th grade Special Ed and all the teachers know and understand the problem, so when she’s having a staring seizure they ask if she’s okay and what was the last thing she heard them saying, etc. Although they care and help, and although she’s trying so hard, she’s barely getting passing grades.
Although she’s 15, it’s like she’s 11 or 12. This is sad, but I try not to show it around her. I’m not able to give her much privacy or freedom, like being left alone for sleepovers or letting her go to her friends’ houses. Or not being able to be outside without someone being with her.
Corrina loves to play with games, likes dogs and cats, kittens and puppies, and taking care of animals on the Nintendo 3ds. She wanted to be a veterinarian when she grows up but after I explained a little about it, she changed her mind. She’s very tender-hearted.
Corrina also loves to read books and draw and color, and play with her dolls in her room. She’s very sweet and kind and always wants to help but of course sometimes she gets frustrated because of her limitations.
We heard about 4 Paws for Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their specially trained Service Dogs. We are applying for a seizure dog because she has epileptic seizures and staring seizures. The dog would make such a big difference to Corrina because she will be able to do more things that a teenager does.
Right now she is so limited. For example we don’t let her ride her bike unless she wears her helmet and an adult is watching. That’s because a seizure could come at any moment and she could fall off the bike. The same goes for other activities like swinging, playing, roller skating, or going outside with her friends.
Her sister and her brothers always have to be with her. Corrina does have a difficult time understanding why things are the way they are, and she wishes she could be able to think and act and be like all the regular girls her age.
Our family is volunteering to help raise $13,000 for training a service dog, and we would appreciate your help by donating, tax free, to 4 Paws for Ability in Corrina’s name. You can donate online at http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now/ or send a check to:
4 Paws for Ability, Inc.
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Seizure alert dog will help detect Lilly’s seizures
By Christina Bavinck
When my daughter Lilly Apryl Oens was about six months old, I noticed she was weak in her legs. I also noticed Lilly wasn’t developing like she should. Instead of playing she just wanted to be held and lay around. As time went on and she started to crawl and pull herself up to stand, her legs would give out on her. Her legs giving out would cause her to fall. Still, as more time went on Lilly was always tired, and seemed not to want to play much.
About the same time, she had a Grand Mal Febrile Seizure. About a week later, Lilly had an 11-minute seizure that resembled a stroke. After these seizures and having to call 911. I consulted with pediatricians, neurologists, and genetics doctors. It was determined Lilly was having atypical and complex seizures.
Lilly’s seizures vary from different types of seizures and the length of seizures. After Lilly has a seizure she becomes tired, cranky, and sometimes throws up. After her last big seizure, it was hard to get her to come out of it and stay alert. This became very frightening. Lilly has up to four seizures a week. Lilly has been prescribed two medications for her seizures. They help control Lilly’s small seizures, but do not completely keep her from having them.
Her medications also make her a little irritable after she take them for a couple hours. She also suffers from leg spasms, which happen two to three times a week. When Lilly has leg spasms she cries and says “ouchie” and is up all night because she can’t sleep. These make her a miserable, sad little girl. It’s heartbreaking to watch her go through everything she has at such a young age.
My biggest challenge and concern for Lilly is the daily concern that she is going to have a bad seizure in her sleep and I won’t be there to help her. Obtaining a seizure alert dog from 4 Paws would be of help to Lilly. The dog would alert our family if Lilly was going to have a seizure day or night. Then Lilly would get medical help faster.
She comes to work with me (I work at our family owned group home), and I rarely leave her to be watched by anyone. I walk on “pins and needles” worrying if she is going to have a seizure. If Lilly gets a fever or gets sick (something as small as a cold) she has a seizure.
Lilly has been through so much and is still a happy, extremely loving little girl. She is definitely her Momma’s hero!!! Lilly likes to be read to, play with animals (her favorite are monkeys, birds and dogs), get her fingernails and toenails painted, and likes to go for walks. Lilly likes to look at the moon at night with her step-daddy, sing songs and say her prayers before bedtime with her Mommy, and play outside in the dirt with her brothers and sisters.
We think obtaining a dog for Lilly would be good for her and us. 4 Paws approach to placement is to partner with their clients. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Lilly. 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/donation) or mail a check with Lilly’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Lilly Oens
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Thank you from the Oens family!
Non-verbal,fearless Nicholas needs service dog
By Tina Wilder
While he is able to walk and loves to climb, he is not able to talk. He cannot yet do many things a typical 5-year-old can. He does not run, jump, and cannot ride a tricycle.
Sometimes he tries to get out of the house, and he is able to open doors by himself. Once he wandered over to a neighbor’s house. Taking him places is challenging. He “drops” and won’t get up. He knocks things over. He swipes food and dishes onto the floor. He’s good at getting out of hotel rooms, too.
Nicholas has serious behavioral problems,and also has sensory issues. But even with all the frustration in his young life, he is a very happy, loving little boy who enjoys giving hugs and cuddling. He loves to be in his spinning chair. He enjoys interacting with others with Patty Cake and Row Your Boat. He loves any toy with a button, especially if it plays music. He loves being tickled. He also loves music, Elmo, Ernie, swinging, and wagon rides.
Nicholas’ challenges include not being able to talk; he has started to use the PECS system to help him communicate. Right now he uses the pictures to request food.
Because he lacks coordination and has low muscle tone, he is not able to put on his own clothes, requires moderate assist with meals, and is not potty trained. He does not play with other children. He has difficulty sleeping at night, and wakes up frequently. Nicholas is in a stroller when out in the community due to his “dropping” and safety issues. He does not understand his limits or danger.
He will attempt to walk into the street or wander off in public, and has no fear of strangers. He enjoys getting into any water: he’ll walk off the dock into the lake, fall into the waterfall at the mall, and plop into his grandpa’s pond.
We are applying for a multipurpose service dog so Nicholas will be able to go more places and be more independent. If tethered to the dog we can walk through the zoo, mall, etc. He will not have to be in a stroller all the time.
We hope the dog will help Nicholas stop some of his behavior such as hitting himself in the head and throwing things. The dog will also be trained for searching and finding him, and can also let someone know if he is getting into danger. Nicholas’ school has occasional visits from a therapy dog. Nicholas does well with the dog, and loves to walk with the dog around the school.
We heard about4 Paws for Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their multipurpose service dogs. We think obtaining a dog for Nicholas would be beneficial to him and to us. 4 Paws partners with its clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Nicholas, and we are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission. We need your help.
If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page or mail a check with Nicholas’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Nicholas Wilder
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Little Kai needs Autism Service Dog for calming and tracking
By Kai’s Parents
Even during pregnancy, we were constantly reminded that Kai was extremely active and strong. We can easily look back now and say that he was adamantly telling us that he, even then, had tremendous sensory needs. As an infant, Kai needed to be cuddled, tightly swaddled, swung, and bounced at all times. However, He often seemed unaware that he was being spoken to. He did not seem to pay much attention to the conversations around him either.
It took some time for us to convince a physician that we needed additional help for Kai. At Kai’s two year old check-up, we finally convinced his fifth physician that our concerns warranted a referral.
Thanks to Early Intervention therapeutic efforts after the age of two, Kai is now amidst the long process of learning to cope with and compensate for the many issues that impact his daily functioning. However, Kai still continues to demonstrate an inability to self-regulate, and is highly dependent upon us to assist him in coping, calming, and comforting processes.
Kai even experiences difficulty with the required self-regulation needed to develop regular routine sleeping habits and patterns. He falls asleep with us out on the couch, before he can then be carefully transferred to his own bed. He also typically wakes up two-to-three times a week during the middle of the night. Usually around three or four o’clock in the morning, we can count on him to call out to us to rejoin at the couch for the remainder of his sleeping hours.
Predominantly Kai’s personal difficulties can be mainly attributed to Sensory Processing Disorder, which has also been known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction. SPD is a neurological disorder which affects the way Kai receives, interprets, stores, and recalls information. This greatly impacts Kai’s ability to understand and appropriately participate in the world which surrounds him.
Stemming from these core issues, Kai was additionally diagnosed with dyspraxia and apraxia. These terms describe difficulty in the motor planning involved in gross and fine motor movements as well as those correlated to speech, respectively.
This collective grouping of learning disabilities often makes everyday life experiences for Kai extremely challenging and often times overwhelming. Kai is unable to fully enjoy and benefit from learning experiences at the same capacity as his typically developing peers because he is often over-stimulated and overwhelmed by his surroundings.
Subsequently, Kai is significantly delayed in speech and language development. His poor command of language makes it extremely difficult for him to convey his wants and needs to other individuals, especially his peers. Additionally, Kai does not have a well-developed understanding of environmental dangers. His behavior is still largely impulsive, and based upon immediate, short term gains and sensory seeking.
It would be an understatement to state that Kai is a flight risk. At any given moment he may dart out with absolutely no regard for his own safety. We lovingly describe him as an opportunistic runner. Kai must be watched like a hawk at all times to ensure his safety.
Our constant worries regarding his safety and potential for sensory overload impede our ability to provide Kai with adequate, real-life learning experiences. We avoid any errands with Kai that cannot be quickly accomplished from the car. Currently, we are limited to taking him to playgrounds, and the Children’s Museum. These are the places in which society’s standards for child behavior are a bit more realistic for Kai’s abilities and needs.
We would love to get out into the community, as a family, more often. Kai loves interacting with others and exploring nature, but he needs further assistance to make these sustaining, beneficial, and enjoyable learning experiences. There are so many things and experiences that we want to share with Kai, and we deeply believe that a service dog will significantly enhance Kai’s continued progress.
With the assistance of a service dog, the following activities would be more beneficial and enjoyable for Kai: errand-running; attending therapeutic sessions; large family gatherings; trips to zoos; trips to various museums; hiking; camping; car trips lasting longer than twenty minutes; engaging in verbal exchange with peers; learning social etiquette; an ability to attend school in a large setting, and eventually blending into a mainstream classroom; and we cross our fingers for any additional sleeping aid that may come from the unique bond between a boy and his dog.
There is a long road of growth and discovery in his future, and we truly think that a service dog is the calming, comforting, and protective companion Kai needs to increase his independence, functionality, social skills, and learning opportunities. Kai is extremely intelligent, friendly, happy, curious and excitable. He has an infectious smile, laugh, and energy. A specially-trained companion is just what he needs to facilitate his capacity for individual growth.
We would like to thank you for supporting 4 Paws For Ability, and would appreciate that you do so in honor of our son Kai. Thank You so Much – The Foutts Family
Carter needs autism service dog to track, stabilize, and love.
By Lisette Tackitt
Carter’s Autism has been very isolating. He has no sense of danger: escaping/wandering off, restless sleep, breaks household and personal family items, destroys contents in cabinets, floods bathrooms, very difficult eater; difficulty dealing with certain textures, temper tantrums, very low communication capability, extreme single-mindedness, extreme stubbornness, extreme difficulty in focusing on anything that should be relevant/important.
He is the youngest of five boys. His older brothers are Cooper 15, Ethan 13, Owen 11, and Brady 9. They love him so much but get frustrated when he goes into their rooms, and destroys their rooms by emptying drawers, dumping out toy tubs, writing on their walls, throwing their game devices.
Carter is extremely loving and gives hugs and kisses. He is a happy child. He is not aggressive or confrontational to others. He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Dora the Explorer, NickJr., but Blues Clues is his very favorite.
He will often randomly recite dialogue from his favorite episodes for no apparent reason. He loves to play outside and swing. He has difficulty dealing with changes in routine and transition. It’s routine for him to have public meltdowns while screaming and throwing himself on the floor. He’s getting bigger and harder for Mom to handle.
Safety is our biggest issue. Second is independence. He needs more independence, for example, when we go to the grocery store. So that he won’t take off running down the aisles, we must place him in the shopping cart with the seat belt fastened. He’s growing tall, so that won’t work for much longer. Anywhere we go, someone must have their hand tightly around Carter’s wrist.
The dog would be his companion. I am hoping that this will also help him sleep better in his own bed. Right now he sleeps in Mom and Dad’s bed because I always think, what if, in the night, he walks out of the house. Even though we have had to put nails in the windows, because he would open them & push out the screens, and we have a chain that we tie up at the front door, we are still terrified, he will find his way out.
Another major concern is the fact that we just moved from Texas to Ohio and it has been a drastic change for him going to a location with no family or familiar people. He has new teachers and enjoys school. He has new areas to explore which is very scary.
We want to be able to raise these funds as soon as we can so Carter can have his dog and bring us relief.
We heard about 4 Paws For Ability (a nonprofit agency), located in Xenia, Ohio, and made an application. We were accepted. Our family is partnering with 4 Paws for Ability to raise the $13,000 to raise and train Carter’s dog to meet his needs.
You can find out more about autism service dogs and help by making a tax deductible donation to 4 Paws for Ability in honor of Carter Tackitt at the 4 Paws for Ability’s donation page, or by mailing a check to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Carter Tackitt
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Thank you from the Tackitt Family!
Joshua needs service dog to track and help with social issues
By Patty Caudle
Joshua has social issues. His life is set around cars, trains, and animals. He doesn’t make friends. The previously mentioned items are life and friends. He becomes violent towards other people without cause and he is also a child who frequently runs away. He has run away in the middle of the night and has been returned home by the sheriff as well as other neighbors. On one occasion he was two feet away from a rattlesnake.
I have applied to 4 Paws for Ability for a service dog that works specifically with Autistic children to assist Joshua when he gets worked up, because the dogs have ways to bring an autistic child down from a frustrated level to having fun just by as simple nudge of a lick or dropping a ball in front of them.
We heard about 4 Paws For Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their Autism Service Dogs. We think obtaining a dog for Joshua would be beneficial to Joshua, and us. 4 Paws has a unique approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Joshua. We are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach our goal with your help.
The dog will scent the child and help me to seek out the direction in which he went so that I can find him.
Another good thing that a service dog will do is while in public while I am shopping, the dog is attached to Joshua and so Joshua cannot make mad dashes away from me.
The dog will be an extreme asset to me. I am not in the best of health. I can run and chase my son, however, the time that the dog spends with Joshua gives me time to take breathers . . . because Josh has a friend.
I have been writing to various organizations to obtain donations to help obtain the dog because my husband and I cannot afford it: we already care for a 34-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy and a nine-year-old granddaughter who had a traumatic incident happen in her life that will take many years to get over.
If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page or mail a check with Joshua Caudle’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Joshua Caudle
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Thank You From Joshua and myself Patty Caudle, Joshua’s mother and our family.
Kennan Brower needs FASD/multi-purpose service dog
By Delmer and Ann Michelle Brower
We discovered that because of nicotine, alcohol, and cocaine exposure in utero, he has the following diagnosis:
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder)
- ODD (oppositional defiant)
- SPD (Sensory processing disorder)
- DBD (disruptive behavior disorder)
- Unspecified learning disorder
- Probable FASD/ARND (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder/alcohol related neurodevelopment disorder)
The biggest challenges we’ve faced so far are acting out and disruptive behavior, name calling, difficulty controlling anger outbursts. Kennan has a hard time concentrating, and is very impulsive. He has a hard time learning from consequences, and had a hard time learning to read.
Certain types of textures, noises, and touches send him into meltdown. Writing and homework is difficult for him. He has problems sleeping through the night. It’s tough making good friends and keeping them. He misses social cues, and has a hard time sitting still. Doesn’t like school. Any change is difficult for him.
This sweet child struggles with frustration, sensory misinterpretations (kind of like crossed wires). He likes to be read to especially Box Car Children and A to Z mysteries. He likes to be outside. He likes art: PLAY DOUGH, chalk, paint. He likes music. He likes Legos and Star Wars, Phineas and Ferb show. He likes going to the zoo.
He is good with tools and baking. He’s also good at memorizing and recalling them for skits. He is a happy child and has a contagious grin and can be very funny. He can be a good helper at times.
We believe a specially trained service dog will be a calming effect for Kennan in public situations where he is over-stimulated. It can help him calm down at night so he can go and stay to sleep, improve his attention span, improve social interactions with age matched peers, decreased aggression toward others and himself when he is over stimulated, and improve self-confidence and performance in school. He will be trained to be tethered, and can track Kennan if he wanders. This wonderful dog will also be trained to disrupt behaviors and hopefully lessen or prevent meltdowns.
We heard about 4 Paws for Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their FASD Service Dogs. We think obtaining a dog, in this instance anFASD/multipurpose dog, for Kennan would be beneficial to him, and us. 4 Paws has a unique approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Kennan. 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/donation) or mail a check with Kennan’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Kennan
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
P.S. Kennan was so excited about the service dog that he wanted to fund raise before we were approved. He talks more about the dog more than any other thing he has wanted, and this includes a Wii.
Little locksmith needs search & rescue autism service dog
By Karen Bidwell
Hi, my name is Karen Bidwell and my wonderful husband is named Josh. We have two beautiful children, Tyler – five, and Micah – three. Josh and I have been married 15 years and cherish every moment we have with our son and daughter! Just a little less than six years ago, we believed we would never be able to have children. However, God had other and bigger plans, TIMES TWO!
I have a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome ( PCOS), which was the doctor’s reason for us not being able to have children. Josh and I were devastated but that didn’t keep us from trying. I took all the necessary medication and even added one of my own called “Ovulex.” Within a month’s time, our sweet Tyler was on his way to being our little buddy. And 18 months after he was born, his beautiful sister, Micah was born. Isn’t God great!
Tyler was due to be born on Mother’s Day of 2006. However, because I came down with severe preeclampsia, he was born 12 weeks early. His first two months of life was spent hooked up to wires and tubes in the NICU at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas. He learned to eat and to breathe during those two months and we learned to help him as best we could. There were ups and downs, but we never gave up hope of him being able to come home and live a normal life with us.
At the age of two, we took Tyler to his two-year checkup. The nurse did the usual questionnaire regarding his physical and mental development. A red flag went up when they were unable to get his attention and he was not speaking in small sentences as communication. We didn’t think much of it because we expected delays due to his prematurity. So, the doctor referred us to Himmel Home Health for physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
We went ahead and enrolled him into the Head Start Program here in New Braunfels, TX. They were wonderful and it helped him get used to being around other children and get used to a school-like structure. When he neared the preschool age, our local school district did some testing of their own and gave us a probable diagnosis of Tyler being on the spectrum of Autism along with the speech delay. So, we took him to a clinical psychologist and sure enough, she officially diagnosed the Autism.
So, now, here we are, trying to find all possible ways to help our little buddy. He is a very loving and sweet boy. He loves animals and has a wonderful belly laugh. There are many frustration tantrums, but not near as bad as some I’ve seen. Poor baby just can’t seem to tell us what it is he wants, but he’s working on it.
Tyler has run off a number of times without us knowing it and it involved crossing the street to his grandparents’ home. The first time this happened, I nearly had a heart attack. I cried and was so scared! We have an alarm on the door, but we don’t always remember to turn it on. He knows how to undo barrel locks, dead bolts, and chain locks, so there’s really nothing else we can do to keep him in except watch him closely all day. It makes getting housework done and having naptimes nearly impossible.
We saw a story on our local news about how dogs were being trained to aid people on the spectrum and we jumped right in and applied after searching many different organizations. 4 Paws for Ability has the only tracking plus Autism service trained dogs we could find. So, we are now in the process of fundraising for them in order to qualify for a service pal for our Tyler.
One thing about Tyler and our relationship, it all seems and feels normal to us. He was our first child and everything he has gone through has been what we would have figured was ordinary life. When we had Micah, his sister (the drama queen), she seemed to be the “different” one. So when people ask us if we are okay or were we devastated by the news of Tyler’s diagnosis, we have to be honest and explain to them, “No,” ‘cuz it’s all just normal everyday life to us. Even if it were hard for us, we wouldn’t love our little bud any less!
God has a very special plan for Tyler and we see some of it each and every day.
Josh and I are volunteering to help raise $13,000 for training a dog for Tyler from 4 Paws. 4 Paws has a wonderful approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Tyler. And we can reach our $13,000 goal with your help. (They pay for the rest of the costs.)
If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donation) or mail a check with Tyler’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Tyler Bidwell
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
We need a helping paw for CJ
Charles J Neuman, known as CJ, turns eight in August 2011. He and his family live in Junction City, Kansas. CJ is a very outgoing child and loves to play sports. He has, however, been diagnosed with the following:
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS/FASD)
- Unspecified cerebral palsy
- Some developmental delays
We believe a FASD service dog would be a tremendous help to CJ and the entire family. In addition to providing companionship, they are also trained in Search and Rescue, help soothe the child’s tantrums and anxiety, and give some independence to the child.
4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit organization based in Ohio. They specialize in placements with people who are turned away by many other agencies.
Many children with FASDs have sensory issues causing involuntary repetitive movements or behaviors that seem out of place in a social context. These movements thus become the “signal” or “command” taught to the dog. The dog is then trained to disrupt the behavior by nuzzling the child or putting a paw on the child.
FASD Service Dogs provide support in a variety of environments, which result in improved communication and social skills. The training for a service dog usually is around $22,000. But with this organization the family volunteers to raise $13,000.
You can help CJ get his FASD service dog by making a tax-deductable donation to 4 Paws for Ability in honor of CJ Neuman. This can be done by check, through mail, or through the 4 Paws for Ability websitehttp://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donation.
4 Paws For Ability, Inc.
In honor of CJ Neuman
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385
Hearing Service Dog Will Help Keep Nikki Hardin Safe
By Nikki’s father, Dallas Hardin
Nikki also loves animals of all kinds, and has an older brother Tyler, age 11. She has also been attending public school from the age of 3. One of the biggest challenges we face is in the area of education, and safety is also high on our list.
To understand why a Hearing Service Dog would be so valuable, you need to understand that I’m legally blind and suffered a stroke about a year ago. As a dad, I am her protector, and it’s a challenge to keep her safe.
We heard about 4 Paws For Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their Hearing Service Dogs. Dottie and I are volunteering to help raise $13,000 for training a dog for Nikki from 4 Paws.
4 Paws has a unique approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Nikki. We can reach our $13,000 goal with your help. They pay for the rest of the costs.
If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donation) or mail a check with Nikki’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Nikki Hardin
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Autism service dog will help Aidan and his family
There are many ways an autism service dog could help make Aidan’s life better. The dog could keep an eye on Aidan to make sure he doesn’t run out into the streets or run off. It would keep him safe from danger. It would also alert us if there is something wrong. The dog could also help Aidan keep calm by putting his head (or a paw) on Aidan’s lap. Whenever we are out in public the dog would help Aidan behave with the behavior disruption touch.
The dog would benefit us by giving us a break from the meltdowns that Aidan has on a day to day basis. It would also give us a peace of mind that the dog could find Aidan if he should ever run and hide from us which he likes to do sometimes.
One other thing we are hoping the dog would be able to help with is his ADHD and sleeping meds. If the dog would allow him to calm himself down and sleep by himself without taking meds that would be a huge step in the right direction. Aidan also has a lot of blood work because of his chronic illness. We are hoping that the dog will help make this easier by keeping him distracted and calm.
We heard about the nonprofit agency 4 Paws For Ability and their Autism Service Dogs. We think obtaining a dog for Aidan would be beneficial for everyone concerned. 4 Paws has a unique approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Aidan. 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/donation) or mail a check with Aidan’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Aidan Agront
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Malachai needs calming, loving Search/Rescue service dog
By Leanna Hatfield, Malachai’s Mother
Malachai was born June 15th, 2001. He was always a very joyful, happy and easy-going baby. He hardly cried. He was my perfect little shopping buddy. Malachai, before age one, met only a few of his milestones. He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age one. Later, at age two-and-a-half, he was diagnosed with Autism and seizure disorder.
Malachai is significantly delayed in all areas to include communication (non-verbal), adaptive behaviors, cognitive skills, social relationships, and self management skills. Malachai also has sensory issues. He is very oral and likes to chew (preferably his shirts). He is always trying to rip his shirts, pants, and socks, but mostly his shirts. He also likes to pull hair and grab at others, not realizing he is hurting someone.
Malachai can have extreme meltdowns when he’s upset. He is not able to calm himself. I feel that when Malachai becomes agitated, a service dog could help Malachai through these difficult and challenging events he experiences through his everyday living.
He attends school every day. He is in a self-contained severe Autism classroom. He loves going out into the community on their weekly outings, mainly because he enjoys riding the bus so much.
He also enjoy going to adaptive P.E. and music during his school day. He receives Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy while at school. He also receives Occupational Therapy from a private therapist. Malachai’s most liked activity would be the touch screen computer. He gets very upset when it is time to step away from the computer. Malachai is so loved at school by his teachers and peers. He has such an unforgettable personality.
Malachai enjoys playing outside, swimming, and swinging. He also plays on a special needs baseball team. He expresses enthusiasm when he gets out on the field with the other players, running around the bases and chasing the ball. I assist Malachai when it is his turn to bat and run the bases. He laughs when he hits the ball and runs around to home plate. It is very heart wrenching seeing him and his peers enjoying the game.
Malachai is a very happy boy, but he requires total assist and one-on-one supervision throughout his daily activities. He requires total assist for feeding, bathing, and toileting. While in public he requires complete one-on-one assist because he has no fear of his environment. If you let his hand go, he would just keep going, not understanding any dangers that may be in his path.
Malachai is non-verbal and uses some picture symbols and voice output systems to communicate, but requires hand-over-hand assist. He cannot be left unsupervised for any reason. Malachai is not able to engage himself in any play activities on his own. He does not understand how to manipulate toys on his own, nor does he understand how to join in activities with his peers. Any activity he participates in is done with hand-over-hand assist.
Having an Autism Service Dog would be such a blessing for Malachai and our family. I feel that this would be such a great opportunity for him. I think a service dog would help Malachai reduce negative behaviors and tantrum outbursts, decrease sensory issues, promote safety and calm him throughout his day. I know it won’t magically make him better, but I feel that giving Malachai this chance will help him cope with his environment.
It would be a great calming mechanism for Malachai. While taking Malachai in public places, a dog could help keep Malachai safe. A service dog would be Malachai’s playmate. I really feel that Malachai is in great need of a service dog and he really deserves this service dog to be part of his puzzled life.
A nonprofit agency, 4 Paws for Ability partners with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Malachai. We are committed to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach our goal with your help.
We would appreciate your making a tax-deductible donation to:
4 Paws for Ability
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Checks should be made out to 4 Paws for Ability with Malachai Hatfield written on the memo line. You may also make an online donation at http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donation.
Nine-year-old with Asperger’s & social anxiety needs service dog
By Melinda Khan
We discovered things were different with our daughter, Sarah extremely early. As an infant her motor skills were behind, and yet at six months of age she started to talk. Her first words were “I’m cold,” and I couldn’t find where the sound was coming from. Sarah said it again, “I’m cold,” and I looked into her stroller in disbelief. I took her upstairs where I immediately called my mother and told her that Sarah was talking. When I took her to the pediatrician, Sarah identified different pictures of things and the doctor was shocked at what she was able to do at that age.
When Sarah Ellen Khan was about three, I noticed she had an attachment to maps and jumping up and down and bouncing and sitting up. My older sister had Asperger’s syndrome, and I started to see some similar behaviors and yet some were uniquely Sarah. The lack of eye contact was familiar as was the repeating of sentences and the interest in singular subjects to the exclusion of others. I finally put aside my fear and took her to a psychologist and a neurologist.
The journey began on a small scale, and then I discovered a foundation that guided me in the direction of more detailed, specific treatment. And more specialists. Finally specialists were in agreement of her diagnosis and treatment. Sarah has Asperger’s and social anxiety. Yet unlike some people with the same diagnosis, Sarah does have empathy.
She likes Science, Spelling and Math. Ballet is her favorite active thing to do and she performs in public well. But the difficulty comes when she is asked to speak. She tends to look down and avoids eye contact with much of the public. Sarah goes to a social skill group to learn how to interact, make friends: all the things that come natural to most people but not to Sarah.
Sarah can be selectively mute in terms regarding who she will talk with and who she won’t. Also she cannot answer questions right away unless she is positive about the answer. Open ended questions are extremely difficult for Sarah to answer. Sometimes there is not a logic to the way she answers. Sometimes she will answer the harder questions and the easy ones she will not answer at all.
While Sarah is great in Spelling and Science, we don’t know for sure about the others, because she is not a fully expressed individual. Sarah gets bored easily and always wants to do something different after a short while. One subject she doesn’t get bored with is dogs. She has a book of many of the breeds and she has it pretty much memorized the book. You could fall asleep before she has finished talking about dogs and puppies. Her goal now is to become a Veterinarian.
One of her many challenges is lack of organization. Things get messy quickly because she turns to other things before she finishes what she’s doing. Social anxiety is an extreme fear of other people.She sometimes has a physical response where she freezes completely. She has two main friends in school and rarely has play dates.
Sarah sometimes has difficulty playing with children she is unfamiliar with and sometimes the parents do discriminate because of her extreme shyness. They start noticing that she is different. The two best friends in school remain school buddies but don’t have play dates. In the long run, she does get discouraged and sad. Yet Sarah is a happy girl for the most part and very affectionate with her collection of furry dog dolls.
Her elementary school gives her OT and PT. Sarah get speech therapy to open her up more. And she has private counseling in school when needed. I have been told she does cry in class and she says it is because she misses her mom, which may be true. But it is also so hard for Sarah to express herself that she may not be getting what she needs emotionally at school from the kids because she cannot communicate well.
In general, Sarah is a happy child when she is comfortable. She likes structure and rules, and boundaries. She also enjoys a system of reward for doing things well and she needs praise consistently. Which is not hard to do because she tries so hard. If she doesn’t get something right, she keeps on working. I am enormously proud of her courage, her sensitivity, and her insight will knock you off your feet at times.
Because Sarah has little eye contact, she cannot recognize many human emotions on people’s faces. She just knows happy and sad. She tends also to be naive and innocent and will not recognize if someone is making fun of her right away.
This is the time to mention the problems with bully behavior from Sarah’s peers. She also has been pushed to the ground. She’s about 49 inches tall and weighs 50 lbs. Her weight has always been on the low end, in part because she gets bored with food and yet is very particular. Lately she has shown more interest but still is a little underweight.
Sarah has difficulty speaking. She cannot say hello, goodbye or thank you with any regularity. Sometimes in transition, she can get active with a child after about 10 minutes or so when she gets used to the situation. Hopefully, she’ll connect with the person or she will parallel play and not really be involved with a particular peer.
Sarah loves dogs. She also loves dresses and girly things like nail polish and makeup. Barbie dolls and dress up. Sarah can spell much higher than her grade level and recognizes that is something she is good at and likes this. Her personality is bubbly, cheerful, always positive and she never really dwells on what is going wrong.
She cannot clean her room but she can clean the family room in a quick amount of time. Folding clothes is a challenge, and organization in general. Like putting clothes away. Sometimes she has a hard time going to sleep on her own. She loves my stories that I make up on the spot and this works very well.
Sometimes it is hard for me to recognize all her challenges because I am so close to her and she is so lovable to me. A doctor and a nurse recently described Sarah as “delicious.” She has so much charisma. Sarah had a sense of humor even as a three-month-oldâ€¦how she wiggled so I could get her diapers on while constantly laughing with her gums showing. Sarah said to me some months ago, “Mom you are so creative and you do so much for me. I don’t see you do these things for yourself. What about your writing, Mom?”
We heard about 4 Paws For Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their Service Dogs. We think obtaining a dog for Sarah would be beneficial to Sarah and to us. 4 Paws partners with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Sarah. 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 or mail a check with Sarah’s name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Sarah Kahn
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Update:High-risk Chad needs a calming autism service dog
By Chad Burke’s grandmother, Evelyn
Update from the family: Chad is now six years old. We have made very slow progress towards obtaining funds for Chad’s dream of a Service Dog. We are pleased to say that Chad is doing well. He starts Kindergarten this year. He has since been diagnosed as ID (Intellectual Disabilities) along with his Autism. He is still the happy adorable child. People instantly fall in love with him. He is approximately on the 3 1/2 year old level. We just had a yearly checkup with his Neurological Pediatrician. She is quite pleased with his progress. She had a service dog present during the checkup and Chad responded really well to him. She expressed to us that we should continue to try to get the service dog for Chad.
Chad cannot deal with too much confusion or change (such as the excitement of going on a trip, Christmas excitement, etc.). He can be very rigid in routines, and when his routine is disrupted he tends to have a major meltdown. (Meltdowns: He slaps himself, bangs his head on any surface, throws himself around while crying uncontrollably, and is not aware of his surroundings and what he is doing.)
Chad started showing lots of obsessive behavior this past year. For example, he was extremely obsessive over finding the right shirt to wear. He would totally melt down and cry for an hour at a time because he could not figure out what shirt he would wear. He just started talking to where we could understand some words this past August when he started Pre K. Now we can understand some of his words. Of course, this causes a lot of frustration for him when he cannot communicate his needs to us.
He has a number of challenges which we believe will be less difficult by having a trained autism service dog:
- He is rigid about change.
- He does not sense or understand danger.
- His speech is very delayed.
- He is apt to place his hand on a hot stove burner.
- He will eat or drink anything. He will drink anything in a container.
- He is very active and into everything.
- He puts everything in his mouth.
- He is not able to sleep by himself.
- He wanders when he’s outside
- His grandfather and I are in our late 50′s and it is hard to watch and keep up with him all the time. He cannot be unattended for any length of time.
Chad is very affectionate and loving. Most of the time (when he is not having his challenges), he is very happy and active. He loves cars and trucks, fishing, and tools. He likes to follow his grandfather around with tools and fix things. He loves to go outdoors, and he loves and relates well with animals (he has dogs and a cat).
We learned about 4 Paws for Ability, and after studying everything they offered, we are convinced that Chad’s life would be different if he had an autism service dog. It would be nice if it was a larger dog like a retriever or lab. A dog to grow up with him. He responds well to animals. A service dog would be a companion and a helpmate to Chad. The dog could help calm him down when he is having a melt down.
We worry about Chad getting out of the yard. A dog could help us track him and find him if he disappears. Chad is so active and fast. When we are out and about we could tether Chad to the dog to help us keep track of him. And we would like to get Chad to learn how to sleep in his own room. A dog could sleep with him and let us know when he gets up in the night.
Right now we are committed to volunteering for 4 Paws for Ability in an effort to raise $13,000 for his trained autism service dog. This agency is a nonprofit, and all donations are tax deductible. You can either donate online, mentioning Chad Burke’s name, or by sending a check to 4 Paws.
4 Paws for Ability
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385
Thank you for helping make this little boy’s life better.
Let’s help Geneva get a multi-purpose service dog
She was diagnosed at age four with ADHD and mood disorder. More recently, she was diagnosed with anxiety and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). She also has sensory issues. And meltdowns interfere with daily life.
She is a very friendly and active girl. Loves the outdoors, camping, riding her bike, and swimming. But socially she is behind her peers. Sometimes daily life is a struggle for her. Meltdowns interfere with daily activities.
We will be receiving a multipurpose service dog for Geneva to help redirect her and help with the meltdowns. We hope that this will also help her socially.
I am volunteering my efforts for 4 Paws for Ability to raise money, so other disabled children can benefit from 4 Paws. Donations are to be made directly to4 Paws for Ability, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385 in honor of Geneva Powell.
Laurina Short (Powell) Mother of Geneva
Help Angel Solis cope
I have two sisters but we are very different. It’s very hard for me to deal with places where there are a lot of people. Even going out to a restaurant or any public place is a challenge for me. It’s hard for me to understand danger, in fact, once I managed to open a window in my house that had access to the roof, and I stayed there for a little bit of time until my neighbor told my parents I was there.
I have hard time at school because I been diagnosed with Hyperactivity Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Learning Disorder, Sensory Hypersensitivity, ADHD and Aspergers, and it’s hard for me to communicate and express my feelings. When I can’t do this I get very frustrated, and I cry and scream a lot.
It’s very hard for me to go to sleep at night. I just have lots of energy even if it’s after midnight. When I am anxious I bite my clothes and even my house furniture.
My family and I feel very lucky that we found 4 Paws for Ability and they approved our application for a Autism Service Dog but we must meet our fundraising goal of $13,000. My family has signed on as volunteers for 4 Paws for Ability, (a 501 (c)(3) to raise money and have a Autism Service Dog to help me to cope with the daily activities that I can’t cope with now.
You can help me and my family make this dream come true by making a tax-deductible donation (by mail or the website) in the name of Angel Solis to: 4 Paws for Ability
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Tiny angel needs service dog for seizure support and balance
Korigan will be 4 in June 2010. She was born three weeks late and was only 4 lbs 15.5 oz. I knew from the begining that she had some problems but no one else seemed to see it.
Every time I said she had something they would say she didn’t and they would do a test to prove that I was wrong.. Only the tests all came back positive and I was right on all of it.. Sometimes you DON’T want to be right.
Korigan has a lot of medical problems, including:
- A carnitine deficiency (a neuro-muscular disorder)
- Failure to thrive
- Sleep apnea
- Amylase deficiency (can’t process sugar)
- Some kidney issues (just passed several small stones)
- Minor hearing loss
- Low oral muscle tone
- Short stature
She is a tiny sweet little angel with the biggest heart. She is always thinking of others. When a new magazine comes to the house she will open it up and start telling me what all she wants to buy for her friends.
The service dog we are seeking from 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit agency located in Xenia, Ohio, is to help with balance and seizures. She is so excited about getting a “helper doggy.” She wants so badly to be more independent and I think a service dog will be just the thing!
I am acting as a volunteer for 4 Paws in an effort to raise funds for her. All donations are tax deductible and go to 4 Paws for Ability in Korigan’s name. If you can help, please either go to the 4 Paws for Ability website and click on “donate,” or mail a check to:
4 Paws for Ability
The Korigan Gibbons Fund
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Thanks so much … Stacy and Korigan