Armeena is our 3 year old daughter and the light of our world. As our only child, we struggled to understand what was happening as she struggled to meet basic communication and developmental milestones. It was alarming to see her in so much distress over certain noises like a running sink, a refrigerator hum, or typing on a keyboard. It was even harder to understand why we as parents couldn’t hold her hand or hug her due to her strong aversion to touch.
When she was 2 years old she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in addition to having Sensory Processing Disorder. We were paired with Early Intervention, and finally given the tools to start tackling these challenges. We’ve had ups and downs, but overall, she has made huge gains and we are so grateful to everyone that has supported us through this journey.
Armeena is such a wonderful, happy little girl. We wouldn’t change her for anything. Our goal is to help her adapt to difficult environments so she can still experience the world. She has so much to offer, and we want her to be able to have the skills to navigate those challenges and succeed.
There are so many benefits that a Service Dog would bring to Armeena’s life, such as providing deep pressure to alleviate sensory meltdowns or helping her cope during car rides which is a challenge. But most importantly, we want to be able to take Armeena outside or in public safely without the constant worry of her running away. She is not always aware of her surroundings and will often put herself into dangerous situations. Her aversion to touch makes it even more challenging to gain control of the situation. A Service Dog can not only track her down in these scenarios, but can provide tethering support to help keep her grounded to a location.
It takes a lot of time and effort to train a Service Dog. Our family is currently trying to raise the $20,000 required and are asking for your help in order to achieve this goal. Any amount of support is greatly appreciated and will go a long way to improving Armeena’s life.
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Training a service dog to meet our child’s requirements can be very costly. On average it costs between $40,000-60,000 to raise, train, and place a service dog at 4 Paws for Ability. While 4 Paws for Ability fundraises to help cover a significant portion of this cost, families are tasked with raising $20,000 of that amount or $23,000 if receiving a poodle, doodle or papillon. We hope that we can receive assistance from our beloved family and friends to help make our service dog dream a reality.