Hunter Christ is a bright, vibrant soul. At almost 6 years old he loves dinosaurs, dogs, and everything related to the vast expanse of space. However, at just 5 1/2 years old, Hunter has been diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder, a genetic hearing impairment, allergies, a rare skin condition, and a rare gene related to epilepsy. All these things drastically impair his everyday life, but it is the autism and sensory issues that influence his life the most.
As his mom, I believe a service dog will allow Hunter a better sense of independence, as well as keep him safe in everyday situations. See, Hunter, recoils from most touches, including my own. He also elopes. This means that in situations where it’s needed, he will oftentimes not only refuse to hold my hand but also run off without warning. As a mom to 3 other children, I also don’t always have an extra hand to hold his. And when those overwhelming feelings hit and Hunter has a meltdown, he has oftentimes turned to animals, dogs in particular, to calm down.
Despite everything that I already do to keep him safe and calm him down, it’s not enough. That’s why I turned to 4 Paws for Ability. Hearing the success stories of others and seeing the abilities these dogs have to help children overcome, I knew immediately it was the right thing to do. Having a dog that could help Hunter transition in everyday life, that could track him should he elope, that could be a calming fixture in the middle of a meltdown, would be a massive life changer for us.