In the midst of a shutdown, lives changing, and families becoming shut in, for Chaise what came out could have never been expected. “His world was now turned upside down and he had no other way to deal with that other than agression. We saw behaviors in Chaise, that we had never witnessed before in severity,” his mom, Ashley, said.
It was a level of aggression Ashley and her husband Justin weren’t prepared for. “We were constantly fighting a losing battle of safety in our home,” they said. “No de-escalation strategies were working, which left us restraining him most days just to keep him, ourselves and his brother safe from harm. This was our new normal and it was frightening!”
Stuck in the middle of a pandemic without answers, Ashley and Justin began seeking out friends and family for ideas.
“There is no manual for children with Autism and we were running out of options.”
But one idea began to stick out… “We were really struggling to deal with his behaviors. Chaise loves dogs and a friend of ours told us about 4 Paws. After researching about them we went through the process to apply,” and within a few months Chaise and his family had hope.
With the help of friends, family and a number of local organizations got involved to help, one miracle couple gave Chaise his chance. With $8,000 still to raise, on the day their article ran in the the Indiana Gazette, the paper received an anonymous call to cover the remaining cost of their service dog.
And with that, Chaise and Topaz were set on a course with an unbreakable bond. “He has gained such an amazing friend and they do everything together,” Ashley said. “Chaise use to have meltdowns that lasted 20 to 45 minutes, requiring a full restraint. Now within 5 minutes, in putting her in an ‘over’ command you can just feel his aggression melt away.”
“Never give up, even when you are at the end of your rope and feel like there is nothing more you can do,” she said. “We learned so much from 4 Paws from start to finish, and it is uplifting to know that we have their support for a lifetime!”
What was once a “new normal” has turned into a bond that Ashely & Justin “could have never imagined.”
“Topaz has given us and Chaise our lives back.”