Help Autistic Missionary Kid get his Service Dog

Oscar Andres is the son of Oscar and Lori Aguirre.  The Aguirre’s work with Pan de Vida , a non-profit ministry founded 20 years ago  in Quito, Ecuador.  Pan de Vida is dedicated to serving and empowering people living poverty to reach their God given potential.   
Oscar Andres, was a miracle baby who was born prematurely 10 years ago.   He was resuscitated at birth, spent a month in the NICU, used oxygen for a year, and was diagnosed with global developmental delays, epilepsy, and autism.   Oscar has overcome many challenges thanks to the help of medication, an intensive multidisciplinary therapy team of five specialists, and psychological and educational support. 
Oscar has a sweet, lovable personality that naturally attracts people to him.   When life is consistent and routines are kept, he does well.  When he experiences lots of changes and unexpected transitions, such as the last 8 months of this pandemic, he has dysregulation and anxiety.  These are common traits to autistic children and can lead to problems with physical aggressiveness, difficulty sleeping, and safety issues. 
In the last few months we have had several scary moments. He has gotten a hold of our car keys and locked himself in a running car,  he has tried to cook on the stove, he has left the house and walked into neighbor’s homes.     We used to be able to put on the infant and toddler safety devices, but at 10 years old, he is taller, stronger, and smart enough to get past those things.   He requires constant supervision and at times, it can be physically challenging for us. 
An Autism Service Dog is recommended to help Oscar Andres regulate and decrease his anxiety, it will help him have more confidence in social interactions, sleep better, gain more skills in functional independence, and provide additional safety measures. 
Bocalan, is the only certified agency in Ecuador that provides service dogs for special needs children. They strictly follow the ADI guidelines for training these dogs and going through this process would give Oscar Andres a certified dog recognized by US standards. For autistic children they train to help in three areas:

1. Sleep: they train to sleep with the child and use their body weight to provide proprioceptive and tactile input that helps calm them to sleep better.

2. Behavior:  they learn to recognize when a child is having difficulty self-regulating and intervene to help calm them.

3. Escaping:  They can track a child who has wandered off and will also help to stop a child when he starts to run off.

Autism services dogs worldwide are costly.  However, the cost in Ecuador is lower of what it would be in the US. The costs are inclusive and cover the entire standard two-year training period:  the cost of a dog bred specifically for this purpose, the trainer,  the vet costs, accessories, etc.  

Please help Oscar Andres to get this resource and have an opportunity to thrive in life.  The dog would not only benefit Oscar but also our entire family. All donations will go directly to support this specific need.
Thank you for your support. God bless you!
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    • $25 
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Lori Aguirre
Jacksonville, NC

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