Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read our story. I would like to introduce to you our son Tucker. He is a happy, loving almost 2 year old. He is a triplet with two fiesty sisters. He also has a 10 year old big brother who absolutely adores him. Our life is busy but it is wonderful chaos.
Around 13 months, Tucker experienced a big regression where he lost most of his milestones. He stopped babbling, waving and interacting with family. He stopped looking at everyone, the absence of his big beautiful blue eyes was devastating. At the beginning of this year, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since diagnosis Tucker has started many different therapies including occupational, speech and developmental therapy to help increase his ability to communicate with others. With the help of therapy we are finally getting to see his beautiful eyes looking back at us. He is getting ready to start ABA therapy in a couple weeks to supplement his current therapies.
Like many parents, we have searched high and low on how to best support Tucker. We have researched different ways to help Tucker along his new path and recently discovered 4 Paws for Ability and Autism Support dogs. The ability of these dogs are absolutely amazing and strongly believe Tucker would greatly benefit from an amazing companion. Having a best friend that loves him, can help him communicate with others, support him when things get a bit overwhelming, and increase his independence would be so beneficial for him and our entire family.
Tucker loves to run and seeks sensory input from his surroundings. Did you know an Autism Support Dog can safely provide that input for him? His dog can be trained to provide task trained assistance with calming, comforting, and redirecting. 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. Many children with Autism, like Tucker, have strong sensory needs and his canine companion can help provide that safely.
Tucker does not understand danger and wants to run like his sisters. 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. This would allow Tucker more freedom to run and play more independently.
We want Tucker to be able to experience different situations safely like any other child with and without ASD. Our dream is for Tucker to be happy and experience life to the fullest. A service dog to help Tucker on his path would help us get Tucker closer to our dream.
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.
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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.