Hello and thank you for reading our daughter’s story. We would like to introduce you to our 4 year old daughter Harper Jo Shivener. Harper Jo is one of the most fun loving caring souls you will ever meet on this planet. She lights up every room she walks into and loves to play with her baby dolls, watch a good episode of Bluey and be outside with her farm animals. She hasn’t had the easiest road to navigate at such a young age as she was diagnosed with with sensory disorders at 2 years old and has struggled with speaking and basic communication her whole life. We were struggling to find answers for Harper because it seemed like nothing we were doing was working to help her communicate with us which would become very frustrating for her, until we were finally able to get her in for an Autism evaluation. After the evaluation it came back that Harper Jo is indeed Autistic which really helped explain the lack of connection for her in the learning and understanding of basic day to day tasks for a child to learn and the outbursts and the lack of Saftey awareness that she had for herself, which would lead to her just trying to run away from us sometimes in public.
Based on this new diagnosis for her and recommendations from her pediatrician we were able to find out about applying to 4 Paws for Ability for a service dog, as they felt it would be beneficial to Harper to help with this journey she is embarking on and the new life changes she is going through for basic day to day operations. We applied to 4 Paws for Ability and completed the application process which was a very detailed processed that included medical history and other approvals. The good news is Harper Jo was approved for the program and now we have agreed to raise $20,000 for 4 Paws for Ability to help with costs of training a service dog for our daughter. On average it costs between $40,000 to $60,000 to raise, train, and place a service dog at 4 Paws for Ability. We are tasked to raise $20,000 of this and hope that we can receive some assistance to help make this dream come true for Harper to help her in day to day life.
Harper being approved for this is a game changer for her and our family as she can be a flight risk when we are in public there for she is either relegated to a stroller at all times or we just stay home all together for her saftey. Her service dog would allow her to enjoy public family activities as they would be trained for tethering, and also tracking if she were to get away. The dog will also help her with her day to day outbursts with being trained for behavioral redirection to help calm her from her tantrums and apply deep pressure and help her with sleep. Harper will also have a forever friend that will never judge her and be there for her at all times and show her unconditional love and support that she needs through this journey. A service dog could make the greatest impact in this little girls life.
How can YOU help Harper Jo achieve this?
Donations in support of Harper Jo should be made directly to 4 Paws for Ability – be sure to put Harper’s name on the memo line. Mail checks to :
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Harper Shivener
207 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 45385