Olivia is our beautiful 12 year old daughter who has severe Autism and Epilepsy. She has a real passion for dogs and recently we found out that an Autism Service dog will make a real difference to her life.
We were assessed by the Centre for Service and Therapy Dogs, Australia (CSTDA) and Olivia has qualified for her very own Autism Service Dog.
Olivia's service dog will be a true friend and be a lifelong companion. They will go through every day life together helping Olivia stay calm so that she will be able to better manage daily tasks, like eating breakfast, getting dressed and going to school. Her service dog will also alert us when she is having a seizure and provide comfort during and after a seizure.
Her service dog will also be trained to pick up on anxiety and give deep pressure therapy and lots of love and affections to minimise Olivia's anxiety.
Service dogs are highly trained to manage safety issues and absconding behaviours. This is very important as Olivia needs 24 hour supervision to ensure she is safe and not putting herself in any danger. Always by her side, her service dog will make her feel safe, be a friend that helps her make friends and give her a reason to talk to people. A best friend who will never tire from her repetitive play and at the same time building new play and communication skills.
Having the dog with her all the time will help us function better as a whole family. We will experience new places, have adventures and create lots of wonderful memories. The everlasting bond and loyalty Olivia will have with her dog will feel like a miracle.
The total cost of the program is $30,000. CSDTA's Dogs for Life program includes specialised training and weekly therapy sessions for Olivia over a 2 year period. If you are in a position to give a donation we would be so grateful. Every donation will go towards making a significant and positive change to Olivia's life with a much brighter future.
A very special thanks to our friends Jayde Rumoro and Andrea Day for their time and love in making this beautiful video for Olivia. Thank you also to Sharon Hill and Yariv Ben Josef for their wonderful contribution.