As a lot of you know, Hunter was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 1/2 years old. Since then, Isaac and I, have done everything in our power to ensure that Hunter has every opportunity to succeed in life.
After thorough research and networking, we have decided to add a “furry” member to our family in the form of a loving, guiding Autism Service Dog. We truly believe this type of support has untapped potential for Hunter. Sometimes social/emotional communication taught by a non-human counterpart can help us grow in our understanding of the world. This added support from a service dog will give Hunter the independence for everyday tasks that we all sometimes take for granted.
For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, service dogs can provide companionship, improve social skills, improve verbal and non-verbal communication, facilitate interaction with the world around them, teach life skills, interrupt certain behaviors, and calm emotional outbursts. Hunter’s service dog will be specifically trained to meet his social, emotional, and physical needs.
One of Hunter's dog’s specialized skills, amongst many others, will be Tethering. For many parents, the safety of their child with autism is an immense concern. A large percentage of children are likely to either bolt or wander away in public. Many parents like ourselves feel the need to keep a solid grip on their child at all times. Service Dogs for Autism are trained to understand the method of tethering so that the dog heels next to the parent/handler’s side and is tethered to the child. This prevents the child from wandering away or bolting away from the parents but also gives the child a bit more independence. That in itself would be a huge relief for our family.
With all of that being said, our reason for this fundraiser is to ask for your help in raising the funds needed for this highly credentialed canine for Hunter. This new member of our family will require extensive training to meet the standards for Public Access (ability to go with Hunter everywhere), as well as become equipped with the skills needed to support Hunter with all of his endeavors. Funds raised will cover the price of the dog (that they specifically choose for Hunter), the months and months of training, and also for the trainers to come to our home at the end of training for a week to instruct Isaac and I how to use the dog for Hunters needs. It also includes any further training as Hunter continues to grow and his needs change.
We hope you will consider supporting our mission to secure an Autism Service Dog for Hunter through Highland Canine Service Dogs (autismassistancedog.com/autism-service-dogs) who are dedicated to training specialized service pups. If you have the means (no matter how large or small) to help us continue to support Hunter, please donate. We also ask that you share this fundraiser far and wide!
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your time and consideration. We cannot thank everyone in our family and community enough for this ongoing support. It really takes a village and we couldn’t make this possible without you!
-The Alamo Family
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