Matthew Farnam

Posted by & filed under Make a Dream Come True.

Autism Assistance Dog could be magic for Mathew

matthewfOur son is an energetic, fun loving 3 year old who continues to amaze us daily. At a young age he was able to assemble 24 piece jigsaw puzzles and his first 50 words were all names of animals from farm to pet and even some exotic animals. Mathew loves to play with his friends, read books, and help Mommy and Daddy with chores. More than anything though, Mathew loves to “play” Magic: The Gathering and Skylanders.

Mathew was diagnosed with Autism in October of 2012 at the age of 26 months. Since then our family has undergone a roller coaster of therapies in an effort to give Mathew the best chance of success as he grows older. After many plane trips to be able to receive services and several therapists in the local area Mathew has shown marked improvement in most areas. However, he has plateaued and now is even showing some signs of regression in some areas. Currently Mathew is enrolled in a special education preschool through the local school district where he also receives speech therapy. He also receives occupational therapy and applied behavior analysis from private providers.

One of the difficulties faced by those diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum is that no two kids are alike and display Autism in a wide variety of ways. Because of this, no one therapy regimen will help all those who are Autistic. After much discussion with Mathew’s former and current providers we have decided to pursue getting a service dog for Mathew. Asking around led us to an organization called 4 Paws For Ability.  They are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans who have lost use of limbs or hearing; help with animal rescue, and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places. They are also one of few organizations who specially train Autism service dogs and are willing to train us as a family to work with Mathew and his service dog in a team of three when necessary. 

It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a multi-purpose dog with Mathew. 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 ( Include the name, Mathew Farnam 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 Mathew Farnam, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385.