Therapy dog for our sons

Hello let me introduce myself, my name is Melissa and I am a mum to three very special boys, all of my children have additional needs and this is why I am doing this fundraiser. My son Ryan and Kai both have Autisim spectrum disorder, Ryan is seven and attends A special school and Kai is four and is not at school, my other son Seth has genralized anxiety and oppsitional difiance disorder. Life is chaotic but I wouldnt have any other way, my sons are a beautiful and a gift who teach me so much in life. We have been accepted into a program that trains therapy dogs for children with dissabilities please see link to there website as it explains what they do in detail. This program will cost us around 5500 and we can be on a waiting list for 12 months to three years for our special dog. Anything over I will donate to another family on the waiting list.

here is a little bit about autisim spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong development disability characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours, and sensory sensitivities.

These behaviours often manifest in an intense and focused interest in a particular subject matter; stereotyped body movements like hand flapping and spinning; and an unusual and heightened sensitivity to everyday sounds or textures.

People with ASD experience difficulties with social interaction and impaired and unusual verbal and non-verbal communication.

The word spectrum reflects the wide range of challenges that people with an ASD experience and the extent to which they may be affected. An estimated one in 100 Australians has an ASD, or 230,000 people. It is four times more common in boys than girls.

The quality of life for many children and adults can be significantly improved by an early diagnosis and appropriate evidence informed treatment.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterised by marked difficulties in behaviour, social interaction, communication and sensory sensitivities. Some of these characteristics are common among people with an autism spectrum disorder; others are typical of the disorder but not necessarily exhibited by all people on the autism spectrum.

Social interaction
Further Information


People with an autism spectrum disorder may exhibit unusual behaviour due to the difficulties they have responding to their environment. Their behaviour is generally an attempt by them to communicate their feelings or to cope with a situation. Behaviour problems may occur as the result of their heightened sensitivity to a sound or something they may have seen or felt.

For people with an autism spectrum disorder, rigidly sticking to routines and spending their time in repetitive behaviours are ways for them to reduce uncertainty and maintain the predictability of their environment.

Other behaviours may include:

unusually intense or focused interests
stereotyped and repetitive body movements such as hand flapping and spinning
repetitive use of objects such as repeatedly switching lights on and off or lining up toys
insistence on sticking to routines such travelling the same route home each day and doing things in exactly the same order every time
unusual sensory interests such as sniffing objects or staring intently at moving objects
sensory sensitivities including avoidance of everyday sounds and textures such as hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and sand
intellectual impairment or learning difficulties
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Social interaction

People with an ASD have difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships. They do not respond to many of the non-verbal forms of communication that many of us take for granted like like facial expressions, physical gestures and eye contact. They are often unable to understand and express their needs just as they are unable to interpret and understand the needs of others. This impairs their ability to share interests and activities with other people. For this reason they are likely to appear distant and aloof. Because they are often delayed in their speech and struggle to make sense of other non-verbal forms of communication, they may withdraw into repetitive play and behaviour and avoid interaction.

Their difficulties with social interaction may manifest in the following ways:

limited use and understanding of non-verbal communication such as eye gaze, facial expression and gesture
difficulties forming and sustaining friendships
lack of seeking to share enjoyment, interests and activities with other people
difficulties with social and emotional responsiveness
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People with an ASD invariably have communication difficulties in one form or another. There are some people with an ASD who speak fluently, others who are speech impaired to varying degrees and others still, who are unable to speak at all. Of those who can speak, they will often use language in a very limited or unusual way.

Their line of conversation may involve repeating your phrases or words back to you or asking the same questions over and over. People with an ASD will usually only talk about topics that are of interest to them which makes the give and take in communication difficult. They have difficulty interpreting non-verbal forms of communication like facial expressions, hand gestures and other body language.

Impaired communication is characterised by:

delayed language development
difficulties initiating and sustaining conversations
stereotyped and repetitive use of language such as repeating phrases from television

As you can tell by reading this little bit of info children on the spectrum have a range of difficulities and chllanges facing them, the road is long, emotionally, physically, and menatlly on the parents too and thrapies are exspensive, while we do recive some funding once this money runs out thearpies still need to continue. The biggest heartache I have personally found with my children is there lack of frienships with other children, and making friends, by being able to reciicve a therapy dog this will greatly help my children in so many ways, the biggest one they will have a compainion and a  friend, my children apear to love dogs and animals and respond so well to other dogs and our peditriacian Dr ted Lowther said that children on the spectrum do tend to respond well to dogs, this will be another part of there thearpy and will be life long. I find it very hard to ask for help, so this is hgard for me, but my children are my life and I want them to have the best opportunities in life. Anything over the 5500 I raise I will be donating to another family who is on the waiting list for a therapy dog.Dogs for kids with dissabilities

Dogs for Kids with Disabilities
Dogs For Kids with Disabilities (DKD) is a not for profit organisation based in Victoria, Australia. Our Assistance and Companion dogs improve the lives of children and young adults who face a range of challenges (including physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders).

Every person with a four legged best friend knows the benefits of their unconditional love and loyalty. Now imagine a dog who is loving, loyal and has been expertly trained to help a child. Trained to prevent bolting, decrease self harm behaviours and reduce melt-downs in children with autism. Raised to help children sleep better, reduce anxiety and build communication.

Most importantly, imagine the comfort and companionship that DKD dogs provide. It’s a beautiful relationship and one that we are proud to establish and support.

To help us continue to make a difference for kids, you can donate, sponsor or volunteer.

Visit us on Facebook to see heartwarming updates and beautiful photos of our DKD dogs and families.

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Melissa Gibbons 
Tuerong VIC
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