Noah B. Spaulding, is 6 1/2year old little boy who is very endearing, kind, lovable, affectionate and adorable who looks like every other little boy but Noah is very different. He enjoys playing Minecraft on his Ipad, playing and making new “Noah” creations with Legos, drawing, helping his Nana, watching Disney nature documentaries and playing with dinosaurs and animals.
Noah was born without any complications and was the perfect baby when he was born. He reached all of his milestones until around 18 months old.
At his checkup, I mentioned to his pediatrician that Noah wasn’t babbling or attempting to speak. Noah’s pediatrician said, “Let’s get him into speech with First Steps so he won’t get behind.”
By the time Noah was 20 months old he had a speech therapist from First Steps visiting the house once a week. Noah still wasn’t talking but was starting to learn sign language. I started to see frustration with Noah. Noah would bang his head on doors and windows and he would throw toys. The First Steps coordinator saw this behavior and suggested an occupational therapist come and evaluate him.
When Noah was about 2 1/2 years old a occupational therapist with First Steps came to our home and evaluated Noah and then discussed with his mother about a condition called sensory processing disorder.
As a new mother, I had no idea was sensory processing disorder was. After having read books about it and reading more information on the internet, it made more sense as to why Noah behaved the way he did to touch, why he walked on his tip toes, why he didn’t like his hands dirty, why he only likes certain food, why he doesn’t like his hair or fingernails cut, why loud sounds bother him and the list goes on.
At age three Noah was fully evaluated at Square One by Dr. Causey and Dr. Axelrod as having sensory processing disorder and a mood disorder but Noah’s behavior still continued to get worse. Noah would hit his mother, himself and was extremely defiant with terrible meltdowns. Noah continues to see Dr. Causey on regular basis still for therapy to date. Dr. Causey suggested that we seek out a psychiatrist to see Noah.
We finally found a psychiatrist, Dr. Ora Frankel, that would treat a 3 1/2 year old and Noah was diagnosed with ADHD, which was a shock. Noah still sees Dr. Frankel on a regular basis for medication and for regular medication checks.
During this time Noah was seeing a speech therapist on a regular basis because he still had a developmental delay with his speech.
Noah has recently been evaluated again (2014) by Dr. Causey and he is currently diagnosed with ADHD-CT, Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified which in turn places Noah on the Autism Spectrum. He has been classified as having high functioning autism. Noah still has Sensory Processing Disorder, Fine and Gross Motor Deficits and a Mood Disorder. Noah suffers from outbursts, meltdowns, severe temper tantrums that occur on a daily basis, from one to three times a day….depending on his mood for the day. Noah still has auditory issues; he has to wear headphones while I vacuum the house. He doesn’t like loud music or loud sounds.
For example, one of Noah’s triggers is doctor appointments, he will have outbursts at doctor appointments whether the appointment is for him or someone else. He will throw toys, hit himself, or others, cuss, scream, bite, grunt, growl, spit, etc. We also have a Impact Plus Therapist working with us now from Home of the Innocents on ways to help calm Noah down during an outburst at home or in public because they have increased and he is hard to handle. Having an autism dog, the dog will use touch and snuggling to disrupt Noah’s negative behavior therefore decreasing his anxiety and help him calm down.
Noah refuses to sleep alone and has since he was 2 years old. I have had to sleep with Noah for the last 4.5 years. When Noah was 2 years old he was forced to spend the night at his father’s house and I believe this traumatized him in some way so now Noah is afraid to sleep alone, to sleep away from home and to sleep away from his bed. I’m hoping the autism dog can help Noah overcome the anxiety of sleeping alone. As a family we have be unable to travel on vacations, to visit family or even take any day trips because he wants to be back home before it gets dark or he becomes extremely nervous and will ask over and over again when are we going home.
I encourage him to try new things and experience new outings but he refuses and just wants to stay home where it’s safe. I feel like Noah is missing out on a lot of things in life because he is too scared to try something new and it’s the anxiety and fear that’s holding him back. Noah is afraid of being alone, even if someone is in another room. He will come crying to me telling me that he is afraid that someone is in the house that will get him. He tells me he’s afraid of monsters in the house.
Noah also has issues with his diet and his OT is working with Noah on this. Noah continues to see an OT on a weekly basis until his fine and gross motor skills are age appropriate. Noah will not eat any mushy texture food. The food he eats has to be crunchy and is usually starchy based. Noah won’t eat any fruits or vegetables. Noah will eat veggie nuggets but they have to cooked so they are crispy and boy does he eat a lot of French fries, chips, anything crunchy. Food has always been an issue ever since the speech issue started.
I feel there are numerous benefits of getting an autism dog that will help Noah with his frustration, repetitive behavior, ease his anxiety, self injury and aggressive behavior towards others, boost his confidence and self esteem, improve social interaction with other children, encourage him to attend activities he would normally refuse to attend. Everything I have mentioned in the above, we deal with on a daily basis from the time he gets up in the morning until the time he goes to bed.
Most of all this dog will be his friend to comfort him when he becomes upset, frustrated and out of sorts. In addition, making friends for is something he has a very hard time doing and he is still learning all the parts of social interaction with people and children. Noah is very excited about getting his autism dog.
Noah’s father and I were married in April of 2007. We started trying for children right away but the doctor said it could take up to a year for us to get pregnant. Unknowingly, a few weeks after we were married I got pregnant which was right around Mother’s Day. I had tests at the doctor’s office and kept doing pregnancy tests but every test came out negative. Finally on June 2, 2007, five months to the day since my dad had passed away from lung cancer, I took one last pregnancy test and it came up positive.
When I was six weeks pregnant I started bleeding and almost lost Noah but I didn’t. The Lord was telling me, you are meant to have this child. I truly believe that Noah is a blessing from God. Noah was given to me for a reason. The one thing I have learned is patience. Noah has touched so many people’s lives with his smile and laugh. His sweet voice will melt your heart. He is such a special child with a loving heart and I love him so much. I would do anything for My Noah. He is my world and I would move heaven and earth to get him whatever he needs to help him.
Although Noah’s application has been accepted as a autism dog recipient, Noah needs some help from the community to make his dream of having an autism dog a reality. As his family enters the fundraising portion of this process, it will take 4 Paws for Ability $22,000 to place a dog with Noah’s family. Noah’s family is committed to raising $14,000 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 http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Mynoahb or call 502-379-5589, all donations are tax deductable and go directly to 4 Paws For Ability, or you can mail a check directly to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Noah Spaulding
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, Ohio, 45385