Make a Dream Come True

Julia Hodne

By October 17, 2019 No Comments
I have always said and believed that in my heart of hearts that Julia was brought into our lives because I needed to laugh more.

Julia is a fun, caring and loving nine-year-old from Ketchikan, Alaska, that faces many challenges everyday due to the effects of FASD, sensory processing disorder, single sided deafness, executive function difficulty, ADHD, and anxiety.

These challenges make it difficult for her to transition quickly from one activity to another, regulate and identify her very strong emotions, sit still during focused activities, control her impulses and not become overwhelmed by her anxiety in everyday environments. When overcome with anxiety or overstimulated mentally, Julia can become aggressive and dysregulated to the point she has had to be restrained and secluded from her friends and peers in the classroom at school. Her challenges are becoming a barrier to her friendships and relationships with her peers at school and in the community.

Julia needs support, assistance, and comfort with her daily life. A specifically trained service dog would be a unique and individualized support for her in a way she so desperately needs.

Julia’s service dog will be able to sense when she is becoming dysregulated and be able to help intervene and calm her down before her escalation cycle gets to the point where she needs to be removed from the classroom or other environments.

If Julia’s dysregulation is interrupted early, she can be much more successful in being a part of her peer community and other situations with little supports. Her service dog will be able to nuzzle her, lick her, give her kisses, and provide the deep pressure that Julia finds calming by laying on her, to help distract her from becoming further escalated.
When we asked Julia why she wanted a service dog she answered, “Then I will always have a best friend with me and people will want to be friends with me because they will want to come pet my dog and ask me questions about him. And then, if I have a service dog, I won’t be scared to go into rooms by myself because I will always have him with me and you (the parents) won’t have to go with me all the time.”

Animals have always been a source of comfort and love for Julia. We can be anywhere and she inevitably finds and is drawn to any animal and instantly connects with them when she is close and interacts with them.

In school we have sought out consultation through our Special Education Service Agency to help her team at school understand her unique and complex medical and developmental needs and challenges. Julia is currently on an IEP with a very specific Behavior Intervention Plan, but we as her parents and her team recognize there is a piece missing. A service dog for Julia would bridge that gap and support her as she is trying to learn the skills she will need to be the strongest version of herself that she can be.
Julia also receives support through our children’s mental health services here in Ketchikan so she can continue to gain and learn the skills of self-regulation and confidence she will need to adapt to living successfully with her disabilities. As Julia gets older her service dog can and will make an impact for her that she needs to move forward.

Even sharing the brief and general story of our life with Julia feels very personal and a bit vulnerable; the reason we are sharing is in hopes that we can raise the funds needed to help our daughter in a way she hasn’t been helped up to this point.

Please help in any way you can. Large or small, donations add up and we have a very long way to go.

That is a statement we have made so many times in our journey with Julia…but everything worth fighting for is a “very long way to go.”

 

You can donate directly to 4 Paws for Ability via mail or phone.

Checks by mail:
Please make checks out to
4 Paws for Ability and PLEASE MAKE SURE to put “In honor of Julia Hodne” in the memo line.
4 Paws for Ability
In honor of Julia Hodne
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385

 

By phone:
You can also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937) 374-0385
Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern time

 

Thank you and may you be blessed for helping Julia,

The Hodne Family

 

 

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