When I get in a "complaining about my life" mode, I don't have to look very far to see people who are facing things I can't even comprehend. It's like a slap in the face to me. Knock it off, Hana.
On Mondays, I usually write about my Sabbath experience. However, today, I'd rather write about someone else.
Recently, you may have noticed a little widget at the top of the blog that reads, "Ky's Service Dog." Ky is the 2 1/2 year old daughter of a friend of my daughter, Bethany. Ky has Autism, Seizure disorder and Marcus Gunn jaw-winking syndrome (Trigemino-oculomotor Synkineses). An autism service/therapy dog would help Ky in the following ways:
- Behavioral issues -- Since Ky tends to act out in ways which can cause her bodily harm, a dog would be right there to distract/disrupt these behaviors. These dogs are trained to recognize and interrupt them. The dog will also alert Ky's parents when necessary. Since Ky has seizures, this is especially important.
- Speech -- Ky has a very limited vocabulary (which includes the word 'puppy'). Through communicating with the dog with verbal and physical commands, the hope is that Ky's communication skills will expand and improve.
- Social skills -- Ky is often afraid. With a dog to serve as a barrier between her and other people, she will be able to relax into social situations more easily. Bonding with her dog will prove to be invaluable for this precious child.
- Sleeping -- You know what it's like when your child goes through a bout of not sleeping through the night? How would you feel (or function) if your child was like Ky and did not sleep ... period. Her parents give her natural supplements, but they're not much help. A weighted blanket (can you imagine in this heat?) and a weighted teddy bear help calm her, but she prefers having someone in bed with her each night. If Ky gets a service dog, the hope is that the dog will provide enough comfort for her to be able to sleep without any meds or supplements.
- Safety -- We teach our children boundaries as soon as they start to walk. But Ky doesn't understand boundaries. When she's scared or upset, she tends to bolt. A dog could serve as a barrier and keep her from running out of the house or into the street. And, as I mentioned, the dog would be there to alert someone if Ky has a seizure.
- Every day skills -- Walking the dog will eventually give her a sense of responsibility and independence and remove some of the frightening aspects of things like going to unfamiliar places.
Convinced that this little girl and her family would benefit immensely from having an autism service/therapy dog? I am. That's why I gave and I'm sharing this story in hopes that you will give, too. The cost of the dog, along with the training required over the course of a year, is $4,900. The family is hoping to raise $6,000 to cover the additional start up costs (vet bills, spaying/neutering, food, gas to get to training classes and any additional supplies they may need in the first year). Won't you help by donating even a little bit? If all of you gave $10, they'd have their money in no time!
We are all so blessed by our health, our families, our homes and our stuff. Give a little back. Do it for Ky.
God bless you for caring.