Ainsley's communication struggles include reciprocal interaction, joint attention and empathy. She also has behavioral rigidity and sensory processing difficulties amomngst other medical issues.
At first glance, Ainsley appears just like any other little girl. However, she struggles to verbalize her wants and needs well. She not only has difficulty following commands, she has no sense of danger and is prone to wandering.
Ainsley wanders on a regular basis. As a result she wears a Project Lifesaver bracelet and an Angel Sense GPS monitor that helps track her in the event she wanders off. Ainsley has gotten out of the house and away from us on several occasions. We have had to rely on local law enforcement to help locate her after she leaves. As with many children with autism, Ainsley is drawn to water and animals. Just recently she was located in the road playing in a puddle. She had passed over a river and a traveled through a backroad in her travels. These present extreme dangers to Ainsley, yet she has no fear of them.
Consequently, we are lacking rest physically and emotionally. Ainsley doesn't get to have the independence that every little girl deserves. At times, we skip certain events or avoid places because we worry for Ainsley's physical safety.
While with the family, and tethered to the service dog, Ainsley will be able to walk alone, giving her that needed independence. If Ainsley begins to dart or run away, the dog will anchor her so she cannot run away.
The dog will service not only as a physical anchor at times, but also as an emotional anchor calming her in public and at home. Not only will the dog keep her SAFE, it will serve as a comapanion and assist if Ainsley has an outburst or meltdown due to not being able to process certain situations and/or being overstimulated.
The cost of obtaining and caring for a service dog and a child with a disability is very expensive. We have many fundraising efforts in place to now support both!
Keep up with us as we connect Ainsley & Parker and help Ainsley become the best that she can be!
- Cam Crittenden
- Jeffrey Burke
- Bo Taylor
- Anne Glass
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