Luke's Service Dog Fund
Luke's journey with autism began (really since birth) but when he turned three. From the very beginning, getting people to listen to me and give Luke additional services or help was really difficult. When I noticed that he wasn't developing typically, I went to my doctor to discuss my concerns, which were pushed under the rug. I was told that he would grow out of these things, and that I was tired because I was a single mom, and that I didn't need to be so nervous about all of this. Except, I already knew what I was looking at: autism. I am glad that fighter in me chose to take that experience and go around my medical professional, and go find somebody else who would listen. When I finally did, I went through the yaer long process of early intervention therapy, and then diagnosis (if there was one). After several sessions with different professionals, I felt at my wits end. And I couldn't imagine what my little boy felt like. I was told time and again that I "loved him too much" or was "a little anxious and needed to let him thrive". But I was letting him thrive. And I was advocating for him! I received lots of apologies when the test scores came in. Luke has autism. Talk about a bitter sweet moment. Luke has many struggles, even though his is verbal, and high functioning. He's a wonderful, amazing little boy, but he struggles with simple things like going from one task to the other, or being able to hold it together in public when he gets uncomfortable or anxious. For those of you that know me and my son, you know that he has worked pretty darn hard on keeping it together in front of others, and I'm so glad that he's made that much progress in his navigating these choppy waters. But when he gets overwhelmed, he kicks, he bites, he headbutts, he shoves, he slams himself. And he can do this for hours. So imagine moving from one thing to the next, and having this involuntary reaction to the change. The sensory overload that you might feel at having to experience something like this. Your entire body goes into action and revolts. This is what happens for Luke. When it's all said and done, he cries, apologies, and wants to be held for a long time afterwards. He doesn't like this, either, and has a hard time grappling with it. So when I told this to my doctor, she suggested a mood stabilizer, which is pretty intense for a 6 year old brain, that's still developing. Now, I'm no doctor, but I didn't want to start the medication train this early yet. There had to be something else right? Well there was. I just hadn't thought of it yet. In my research of what might benefit him in these kinds of things, I remembered talking to my case worker about service animals, and some instances when I took one of my bearded dragons with me the store. Every time I did this, there was no melt downs. Literally none! He was so focused on the animal that he didn't worry about the fact that he was going from one task to the next. Now, as much as I would love my bearded dragons to be Luke's service animal, that's pretty inpractical for a lot of reasons. So then I decided to try getting him a dog. We could do this, right? Well training is rather pricey (though a bit less than getting a service animal pretrained and selected for him). We chose to do the former. After about 6 months of having the dog, we feel that it's now time to get her service dog trained for Luke, so he can have a successful time moving from one task to the next, along with the multitude of other issues that he struggles with that a service animal could help curtail. I hate having to ask for help, it's not within me to reach out for help unless I'm bleeding out of my eyeballs. But this isn't about me. It's about my son. And I love him more than the very air I breathe, so I can put my pride aside, and ask for the help I need to get him what he needs. Thank you for reading, and thank you for helping!+ Read More
If this picture can’t tell you how happy this boy is I don’t know what will! I decided to go ahead and close this at weeks end, rain or shine. Thank you all for your help and donations, shares, kind words and thoughts.
Poppy gets to come home! She's doing great, and the training was amazing. We are still keeping this open for the next two weeks, because he's permitting us some time to get as much as we can before we push it forward to help off set the costs of her training. Luke is over the moon at the changes in the dog, and he is very proud to tell everyone that this is HIS service dog.
Today is opening day for League of Dreams baseball. So far we've gone back and forth on whether Luke will do it, because he doesn't want to have the change of teams. Last year he was a Dodger, and this year he's an Angel, with a new coach and everything. This weekend has been aggression and tears and frustration over the change of the new team, but he finally said that he thinks that he wants to do it. Here's to praying that we get through today without any melt downs! Fingers crossed friends! (Thanks again for the love and support. Update on Poppy is that she's doing great and learning how to be there with Luke every step of the way. We get to pick her up very soon so this will stay rolling for another two weeks. Thank you all for your time, shares, and donations!)
We had Luke's IEP today. It went well mostly. There isn't something bad I can say, and I'm glad that staff sees the amazing loving kid that I see all the time. On the down side, he elbow-punched one of the staff members today, so the honeymoon is finally over. Here's to hoping (and praying) that his behaviors stay in check. After school was a very trying day. He struggled from leaving Nama and Grandpa's house, and literally every transition or change until we got home where he changed his mind and decided to "turn it around" as he likes to say. Today is a new day, and let's hope that it's less challenging than today.