Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lending a helping hand...

Last year, you probably remember I was campaigning for a friend of mine whose little boy was diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder, and extreme anxiety. The goal was to raise $13,000 for a service dog for her little boy. Now, that he has been approved for the dog, and has the money for that, he needs approximately $10,000 to get him, his mom, and another adult from Quesnel, BC to Xenia, OH for two weeks of training with his dog.

Please read Thor's story, and if you are able to help , even by passing this along it would be greatly appreciated

Thor is an active, sweet, 3 year old boy who lives with his Mom in Quesnel, BC (Canada). On April 14th, 2011 Thor was diagnosed with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Extreme Anxiety; he leads a life apart from others his age.

Many times, Thor is left feeling scared, stressed, over-sensitive, angry, and alone. Thor's brain has difficulty processing the sensory information that he perceives. Many times sights, sounds, smells, and touch can overwhelm him and even be painful. This usually leads to outbursts and a desire to flee the situation (run away & hide).

An Autism Service Dog would allow Thor the ability to have more freedom when we are in public by having him tethered to the dog which would give him a sense of independence and safety. A service dog would also be able to track and retrieve Thor if he were to wander or hide, alert me if he does wander, interrupt self-harming behavior, comfort him when he is upset or having a meltdown, and ease transitions by providing a constant calming presence. It would give me another set of eyes to keep Thor safe.

Thor is a loving child who wants nothing more than to be part of the world as best as he can. He becomes easily tired and overwhelmed if presented with too much unknown all at once. He is a creature of habit, with a strict adherence to the plan as it is laid in his mind.

A well trained Autism Service Dog can make the difference between Thor becoming a fully functioning child, or one that must hide when something new is introduced into his life. This dog could be life saving. Did you hear about the 3 year old Autistic boy in Quebec last Spring? He was playing with his siblings in the yard and in a split second he was gone. They found him a month later on the bank of a river. Another young Autistic girl in the US wandered away and was found the next morning, she had drowned in a water-filled hole at a construction site. (these stories continue to happen, as "elopement" is so very common among Autistic children, and Thor is no exception) Had either of those children been lucky enough to have a service dog, their stories may have ended differently. I am terrified that Thor will end up being one of those stories, and I am determined to make sure that doesn't happen.

We've raised the $13,000 needed for Thor's Autism Service Dog, but now must raise the almost $10,000 for the 2 week trip to attend service dog training and bring home Thor's pawtner. We (2 adults and Thor) must travel over 3,000 miles to Xenia, Ohio from Quesnel, BC, Canada. Hotels, flights, car rental, and more are the costs we are facing. Please see the links below to see Thor's video, fundraising page, and blog where you can see photos and updates on Thor's journey as well as info on how to donate to his cause.
Thank you for your support!! Fundraiser page

FACEBOOK: Paws 4 Thor

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