Ethan is a happy, kind and loving little boy, challenged with a chromosome disorder, which presents mostly as autism, moderate to severe. He requires Level 3 support in social communication and repetitive behaviors. He is generally non-verbal, although he realizes the value of verbal communication and verbalizes regularly. However, many of his words are difficult to understand, and he is often frustrated with his communication challenges.
In 2014 discussions began with a friend and bird-hunting Labrador breeder about how each one of the litters usually includes at least one puppy with low drive, zero aggression, and a sweet disposition, suitable for service dog work. Three in this lineage have been placed as service dogs.
Ethan benefits from having a skilled companion. Although, he does not yet cue Jack for behaviors, the hope is that he will soon. Service dogs for autism can act as a social communication bridge, to help engage others with Ethan. Also, Jack helps Ethan's family and caregivers in keeping him safe from wandering into dangerous situations, such leaving home unaccompanied, into a street, or toward a body of water.
Lone Tree's Jack of All Trades was born on Christmas Eve 2015, and his welping name was "Donner". By the time Jack was about 3.5 months old, he had been identified as a candidate for service dog for Ethan. At 4.5 months, Jack joined Ethan's home and they have been bonding well. Ethan's father, David is Jack's primary handler. Ethan's behavioral program now includes activities such as brushing, petting, calling, and feeding Jack. Jack is learning to help diffuse Ethan's disruptions and self-stimulative behaviors with the unique and unconditional love a dog can provide.
Dogsong Animal Training and Behavior began formal training for Jack in June of 2016. It is assumed this will require two years of work, including direct and indirect training sessions. Lyn consistently reports that Jack has great potential and we've made a good selection of temperament.
Donations will be used to pay for these sessions, currently three per week, to help Jack become the companion that Ethan needs to assist him in his great challenge of living an independent life, which would mean the world to Ethan's family, and the bond between the two of them immeasurable!
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