Tailoring the Service Dog to Meet the Needs Unique to Each Child
Many of the families who come to 4 Paws do so asking if we can help their child who may have a disability not addressed by any of the service dog agencies they have located.
While some children, for example children who have only the diagnosis of Autism, fit clearly into a specific type of service dog, (The Autism Assistance Dog), many of our families have children with multiple issues, or diagnoses that do not seem to be addressed directly in the typical service dog categories, for example Down’s Syndrome, Fragile X, Apraxia, ADHD, a variety of mental health diagnosis, life threatening medical illnesses such as cancer, and medically frail children…to name a very few.
Amelia has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and anxiety. Twist alerts when she passes out or falls, retrieves her emergency meds when she goes into anaphylaxis, helps her with balance and retrieval, and does behavior disruption during anxiety attacks along with many other things. But, as you can see, a smile was just a dog away!
Children placed with 4 Paws for Ability dogs may have both Autism and a seizure disorder, or seizures and mobility issues. They may be children born with birth defects and require repeated surgeries and/or hospital stays.
We have been helping a growing number of children with disabilities related to premature birth. Here at 4 Paws we welcome families who may not fit the typical service dog concept and specialize in cutting edge placements and creative solutions for unconventional placements.
Do you think your child would benefit from a dog trained specifically to meet his or her needs but you have not found an agency which seems to train what you need? You have come to the right place!
Service Dogs For Families With More Than One Child Who Has A Disability
At 4 Paws we have worked with many families who have more than one child in the family who might benefit from a dog. While in some situations, we place more than one dog over time, many families can benefit from one dog dually trained to mitigate the disability of more than one child within the home.
For example, we have placed dogs with families which have more than one child on the Autism Spectrum or families with one child who has mobility issues and another with a Seizure disorder.
If you need a dog specially trained to help more than one member of your family we are willing to work with you. 4 Paws believes in creative solutions to unique family.