Hello family and friends! For those of you who know us, know our eldest son, Marcos. He has been the biggest blessing in our lives! He brings absolute joy and happiness to our daily lives. He is the most loving, sweetest 5yr old out there! A year and a half ago, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have been aware of his learning delays, but we weren’t expecting this diagnosis, as I’m sure most parents also struggle with acceptance. We have kept it on the down low, mainly because we don’t want anyone to look down on him, pity him or treat him differently than other children. The reality is, that he is different. We have done a lot of things on our behalf to help him, from enrolling him in an Autistic School, he’s attended Occupational and Speech Therapy for over three years, etc. While these things have helped him progress tremendously, he still struggles with separation anxiety, comprehension, and boundaries. I’ve lost so much sleep at night, worrying about what I can do to help him. So, I google, and google, and google. That is how I came across 4 Paws for Ability. When I realized that there are service dogs for Autism, I thought, this would be PERFECT for Marcos. I completed and submitted the application that same night. I was then instructed to get medical and additional referrals to approve his application. Long and behold, it was APPROVED! Training a service dog to meet the 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. We are tasked with raising $20,000 of that amount and we’re hoping that we can receive assistance from our beloved family and friends to help make this a reality.
Did you know that Autism Service Dogs assist with wandering or impulsive behavior which can lead to the child becoming lost? When time is of the essence, having a service dog trained to recognize the child’s scent and lead a parent to the missing child is critical. They also assist with tethering. A service dog can be trained to provide tethering in which the dog wears a harness and a second leash from the harness can be attached to a belt or backpack the child is wearing. The 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. Meltdowns and sensory needs are common challenges for children with autism. An Autism Assistance Dog can be trained to provide task trained assistance with calming, comforting, and redirecting commands. Commands include redirection such as the dog placing their paw on the child’s leg, sensory input from deep pressure or kisses, calming comfort by the service dog snuggling or laying their head in the child’s lap. Having a service dog that is bonded closely to their child is an opportunity for the child to have a best friend who loves and accepts them unconditionally.
These are some of the huge benefits our son will receive, once we are able to get his service dog. Every parent’s dream is to help their child thrive in life, and ours is no different. We sincerely hope that you can help us in achieving this dream for our son. Any amount will help us get closer to reach the goal that we need to attain. We thank you for your time in reading our story and we thank you in advance for any donation that you can provide!
Donations in support of Marcos Jimenez should be made directly to 4 Paws for Ability – be sure to write Marcos Jimenez’s name on the memo line. Mail checks to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Marcos Jimenez
207 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385