Our son Daragh (daah-ruh) has a complicated medical profile - pituitary dysfunction, Autism and epilepsy - there has been many years of therapies and interventions and clinic visits. We would like to give him the gift of a well trained service dog and need your help. From birth through training, the cost of placing such a dog in a family like ours is estimated to be at least $40,000. Our application for an Autism Service dog has been accepted by 4 Paws for Ability Service dog program in Xenia, Ohio. Applying families are required to cover $17,000 of this cost.
An awkward message from his parents (who are clearly not performers...): Meet Daragh Daragh lives at home in Western Washington with his mother and father and is cared for by several other people including his favorite person in the world, Grandma Pam. He also adores the community of students and staff at Conway School, where he has been attending since he was 4. Despite being entirely non-verbal 'D' loves to connect with people and make acquaintances wherever he goes. ￼ Daragh is now 11 and his development remains globally delayed. He needs 1:1 assistance during all his waking hours to help him regulate his emotions, conduct routine self-care and keep himself and others safe. His limited interests restrict the quality of his engagement with the world, and he is unable to interact at anywhere close to an age-appropriate level. We continue to work with behavioral therapies to try to teach him daily living and social skills but the reality is that progress is very slow and his motivation to learn is low. He will likely forever struggle to navigate life without plentiful support.
￼His service dog will be trained in all things Daragh–to track him down if he wanders, to redirect harmful behaviors, to provide calming pressure to his nervous system, and to be an emotional support for him. His companion will facilitate social connection and will motivate him to try new things. We believe a specially-trained service dog is going to enhance his quality of life. ￼