While therapies are helping us understand and hopefully are helping him to partake in our lives, there are still many things we can not teach him soon enough.
He LOVES to run! His most favorite game is to be chased. Which may sound fun, however it is greatly unsafe and the bigger he gets, the more dangerous it gets. Once on his way, he does not stop, nor respond to his name! Since he isn't vocal at all, nor listens to his name (or instructions), we are hoping an Autism Service Dog can be that bridge between us and him. Not just to stay with him, but to tell us where they are and accompany him. To stop him from opening doors, running out in the street and to comfort him.
For now we can lock doors, but every little boy will eventually grow up and understand how those doors can be unlocked/opened.
We have had him "get to know" dogs of all sizes and breeds, and can tell that he has a great time with them. We are hoping to find THAT BUDDY for him, that will always be there, no matter where this diagnosis will take us.
We have thought about this new addition to our family for months now. We have discussed getting an ASD Dog from the US since there seems to be more options, however, we are very lucky to have found an option here in Germany. Not only are they willing to train the dog in English, but they are also going to find the right dog for us! They will do specific checks on litters to ensure the dog is "Service Dog material" . This doesn't happen for free, of course! We are not opposed to spending money on our new family member. We are not asking for others to fully fund this! Between the cost for the dog, the tests, obedience class, the Autism Service Dog training (which will take about 10 months), the traveling and everything else that comes with getting an animal, we are looking at aprox. 7500 EURO (roughly $ 10,000 ). It would be a lot more if we went with a stateside organization ( aprox. $ 12,000 for the trained dog plus the delivery to Germany for at least $4,000)
We are reaching out to our friends, family and all of those who are able to help us make this dream come true for our little boy. We want to do everything we can - as quickly as we can - to try and stop the progress of this diagnosis in its tracks. Help us begin this journey and start writing the next chapters of our son's life. There is no greater story of love than that of "a boy and his dog."
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