Tyler was diagnosed with PDD-NOS in June of 2011. He is in 8th grade and we are beginning our work on getting a service dog for him. Tyler is a huge-hearted, kind, caring, loving young man who has overcome more in his life so far than most ever will in a lifetime. We are currently working on getting other services for Tyler through disability waivers, but have found this to be a very discouraging and stressful process. We look positively forward to Tyler's future, but know that it is unlikely Tyler will ever be completely independent. He will need family support as well as services that will likely include supported community living, and other services.
One thing we'd like to implement for him ASAP is a service dog. Tyler struggles with many things that a service dog could assist him with, from socializing with others, to staying in safe places, to managing his anger and impulsivity. These are just a few of the things a service dog would assist Tyler with--it would provide him a reason to interact with others in appropriate ways, prevent him from wandering away in stores and from his home, prevent him from entering dangerous situations such as crossing streets without acknowledging traffic or approaching any stranger without acknowledging "stranger danger," and a service dog would also provide Tyler with a sense of calm when the world around him simply becomes to overwhelming and sends him into a meltdown. Deep pressure therapy is very effective in this calming process and Hugo will provide that therapy when he senses Tyler's anxiety. Hugo is being trained for detection work and will alert Tyler to dangerous smells to accomodate his inability to smell. A
A service dog will also assist our family...we currently receive minimal assistance for or with Tyler. We are "on" 24/7 for Tyler, with minimal respite care, and no other programming, and no financial assistance. We even "take shifts" during the night to ensure he doesn't wander (which he has done before). A service dog, while it cannot provide respite care or financial help, will at least provide us with peace of mind (and a good night's sleep for a change) that Tyler will be safe.
The cost of a service dog, the travel to meet and deliver of the service dog, and other related costs including, will amount in total to over $15,000. We have recieved generous assistance and finacial support from Jog for Henry's Dog Foundation for nearly $8,000 for Hugo's training, and nearly $1700 for travel to meet and bond with Hugo from this GO FUND ME campaign. We are still in need of nearly $3,000 for this dream to become a reality and we hope you can help!