DREAMS & SAFETY MATTER
Please help make a needed helpful therapeutic dream come true.
J. is our 12-year-old grandson we’re guardians of, that we help co-parent. He was diagnosed at a very early age on the autism spectrum as very high-functioning. As a baby he wasn’t meeting some key developmental milestones, even after some baby developmental testing. Yet he was clearly ahead in 1 area which unfortunately also left him vulnerable in the area of safety despite close supervision (ie. as a baby he was always too smart for any childproof extra safety measures). Eventually THANKFULLY he received some VERY HELPFUL early intervention therapy. Some challenges he’s working with & through include, but are not limited to, some diagnoses’ of high-functioning autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, developmental delays, & his learning is “differently” — “abled” than others. He is VERYYY energetic & sweeeeet. His speed plus his cognitive challenges make for many safety issues too !!
2 natural talents he gets from his precious mommy are he’s very musical & athletic often exceeding compared to others his age. He has a huge tender heart !! His actions regularly show he’s very compassionate to all, ALWAYS sticks up for the underdog/misfits, & he absolutely LOVES people of ALL ages, & all animals, except coyotes, bears, & wolves (we regularly tell him because he truly doesn’t cognitively understand that they CAN’T open our doorknobs & aren’t native to our area anyway —-except the coyotes lol).
Describing J is like thinking of an all-in-1 package of a sweet adorable burrito made up of the “Energizer Bunny” meets “Curious George” add “Richochet Rabbit” while being as cute as “Bambi, Lassie, or Benji” all rolled into 1 !! Salt to taste of course.
He needs tons of support, therapy & supervision. He truly is an age physically(12), yet cognitively almost always requires the supervision of a 3-6yr. old, with some abilities of an older child. We often say his body is 1 age but hisbrain is of different ages, all in 1 package, making him MAGNIFICENT, but many challenges abound too! No lying, , but it does often get quite “ruff ruff.”
However, these were big challenges for J. & us his whole life LONG before we both as custodial grandparents had our own health issues begin the past yr. plus a major loss of 2 very close family members.
They say it takes “a village to raise a child.” In his case, “it takes an army.” Or a marine. Or a few handfuls of the few, the proud, the strong, the caring, & willing. Nerves of steel aren’t quite enough. We need extra eyes, extra ears, & extra helping hands,️ plus 4 paws. 4 PAWS FOR ABILITY (plus safety) 1 such “marine” is to have for J a therapy support service dog that would be trained, to have…. “A particular set of ‘skills.” to quote Liam Neeson.
After medical referrals and documentation, our application has been approved for an Autism Assistance Service Dog !!!
An Autism Assistance Service Dog can be trained to provide service & therapy including but not limited to…..trained tasks including some occupational therapy, tracking (for the flight risk, elopement & wandering that often accompanies these diagnoses, tethering, behavior redirection, bark alert, extras are health benefits such as lower use of addicting RX drugs, better sleep, lower stress, anxiety, depression, blood pressure & PTSD too. A service do would also provide a social bridge from a child to the differently–abled world, responsibility & life skills, speech/communication assistance, autonomy, independence, therapeutic “transitions” help (another VERY tough 1 for J) “Transitions” are a magnified challenge for these diagnoses.
Did you know that Autism Assistance Service Dogs CAN assist by “tracking” with wandering, elopement, flight risk, or other impulsive dangerous behaviors which can lead to the child becoming lost, hit by a car, walking on an icy roof, easily kidnapped, flight risk & wandering problems etc. DESPITE good supervision, not JUST other therapies? When time is of the essence, having a service dog trained to recognize the child’s scent & lead a caregiver to the direction the child went missing is critical. His going missing became more frequent this past summer (& was quite scary) as part of his brain grows & he becomes more comfortable & exploratory while other parts of his brain don’t recognize the extent of the need for safety !!! He’s soo fast.
We needed police assistance for 2 of the times !!! Tethering a child with the Autism Assistance Service dog helps with this also as this connection creates a physical boundary that allows the child to walk but prevents the child from leaving due to the service dog providing an anchor via tethering them to each other, & increasing their bond. It also helps the child’s focus, safety, & behavior regulation while in public while having occupational neurological therapy provided for immediately by the service dog when needed by the child.
The dog is trained to provide task-trained therapy some of which an occupational therapist often provides him but the dog is trained 24/7 !!!! Neurological problems needing therapy & sensory processing disorder as well as behavior problems common to his diagnosis have needs that are common challenges for children with autism. An Autism Assistance Dog can be trained to provide task-trained assistance with calming, comforting, occupational therapy for his neurological needs,& redirecting commands.
We can’t walk around with a human occupational therapist full-time but 4 paws can!!
These are a glimpse of some of the huge benefits our grandson will receive, once we can get his service dog. Every caregiver’s dream is to help a child thrive in life, keep him safe, accounted for, in 1 piece, achieve & succeed. Ours is no different. We sincerely hope that you can help us in achieving this dream & MUCH NEEDED help for our grandson.
Training a service dog to meet the requirements can be very costly. It costs approximately $40,000-60,000 total (we have to personally raise 20K of that ) to breed, house, raise, train, & place a dog plus costs for needed supplies, utilities, labor, medical care, food, training equipment, & training facility. This non-profit relies heavily on volunteers, donations, & fundraisers for the rest of the costs we don’t fundraise for to operate.
We are tasked with personally individually raising, as a family, the 1st $20,000. We’re hoping that we can receive assistance from our beloved family and friends(we won’t turn away acquaintances & strangers though ) to help make this need a reality. ONCE we meet our goal, it takes approximately 2 – 2.5 yrs for 4 Paws For Ability to breed, raise, train & assign J his service dog.
Bc of his lack of time concepts we aren’t telling him about this yet bc the time is still so far.
We then attend 10 very busy days of classes out of state, off work unpaid to meet & train with his new best friend who will provide him therapy (those costs are totally separate & in addition to the fundraising fee) to graduate from the class. We provide yearly reporting to 4 Paws for the life of the dog plus yearly vet updates.
Any amount will help us get closer to reaching the goal that we need to attain, then we wait for 2 to 2.5 yrs. We thank you for your time in reading our story and we thank you in advance for any (especially needed prayer), & possible donation that you can give!
No amount is too small. We DO also welcome & appreciate gifts of $5 as well as it truly takes a village (& a service dog) to help support& raise this wonderful child. Many hands make heavy work light& we recognize even a gift of $5 is a sacrifice that we’re GRATEFUL for !!!
We’re only 1 person but as a team/family/community we can achieve this huge but achievable goal.
The very reputable NOT-FOR-PROFIT organization we’re working with is called 4 Paws For Ability. The funds go straight to them&they keep a tally of our fundraiser. We’ll get monthly updates as we progress. DREAMS & SAFETY MATTER
Please help make a needed helpful therapeutic dream come true if you can & we also covet your much needed prayers too pls.
This organization ALSO trains service dogs for militaryveterans, a topic close to our hearts. Pass this organization’s link along to any military family who could benefit. The results for military
are AMAZING too !!!!!!
You can help J. by making donations directly to 4 Paws for Ability and putting Jeremiah’s name in the memo line. Checks can also be made out to 4 Paws for Ability PLEASE PUT JEREMIAH’S NAME IN THE MEMO LINE OF THE CHECK and mail to 4 Paws for Ability In Honor of Jeremiah Tijerina, 253 Dayton Ave. Xenia, Ohio, 45385. You may also donate directly using the form below.
THANK YOU !!!!!
Contribute to Jeremiah’s service dog below
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.