We have raised the money we need to
get Marisa's service dog. (I can't tell how excited we are!)We have have been given the dates of December 2-13, 2013 to
attend training classes and now need to raise $2500 for for travel expenses,
food and hotel for nearly 2 weeks to go get her dog.
have to stay for almost 2 weeks to get certified to be a handler for the
service dog.)Please help us reach this goal. Marisa desperately needs this! ***Any money that is donated for this cause goes to the family for travel expenses, NOT
to 4 Paws for ability
Below is the story of why our daughter needs a
autism service dog:
Marisa Smith is a 15 year old autistic child with
a wonderful, imaginative personality and once you get to know her, she makes a
lasting impression. 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.
A 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, 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. 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!