Tuesday, March 18, 2014
This is my son, Teo. He is a sweet, loving 7 year old boy who loves cars, animals, and music. Because of circumstances beyond his control, he has static encephalopathy - irreversible brain damage that effects his emotional, behavioral, social, and academic learning. He is also on the autism spectrum.
Teo loves animals, especially dogs! But most dogs have trouble being loved by him. He is sweet but can be very intense. He so badly wants to cuddle and play with them! A while ago we heard about how certain breeds of dogs can be trained to provide specific services to kids with autism, brain damage, and other disabilities. We were so excited to explore this way to help our son.
Because of his limitations, it can be very difficult for him to remain calm and appropriate at home, school, and in public. Some things a therapy service dog can do for him are:
~ Distract him when he seems agitated
~ Provide sensory input when he's feeling hyper or unsettled
~ Give him a boost of confidence training, grooming, and walking him/her
~ Be a conversation starter with peers
~ Be available to cuddle when he's sad or calming down after a meltdown
~ Sleep with him at night to alleviate his fears and anxiety
~ Interrupt unwanted behaviors and perseverations
We are committed to all the work necessary to make this happen for our son. We are desperate to give him more tools to enhance his quality of life and daily functioning. As you can imagine, buying and training a dog for him comes at a high cost. When I announced the decision to friends and family, I got such an overwhelming response of support. People wanted to know how to help.
We feel blessed to have this little boy in our lives and we are thrilled so many people care so much about him! So we've set up a fund people can donate to in order to help pay for the cost of the dog and its training. 100% of the money raised goes to the foundation A Therapy Dog for Teo. If you would like to donate, the link is on the right hand column.
Our goal is to raise $7,000 for the cost of the dog, two months of boarding and training then another month of specific training here with Teo. If we get more than $7,000, that will go toward travel expenses in picking up the dog.
We will post updates as we go along, as well as video and pictures of the dog we were matched with.