Friday, September 23, 2011

THE STORY OF OUR AUTISM SERVICE DOG PAULA....

Paula's "Graduation" Pic :-)



(originally written & published on September 23, 2011)





People are always asking me tons of questions about our autism service dog, so I figured I'd write a post all about it.  As a bit of background, my son Kyle is 8 years old.  He has severe / classic / non-verbal autism and he is our only child.

So, my brother in law and my sister were sending me links for autism service dogs for years!  Finally in late 2008 we filled out a packet of information from the organization Guiding Eyes For The Blind (http://www.guidingeyes.org/) They have been placing service dogs with the blind since 1956 and beginning in 2006 have started placing autism service dogs with families through their "Heeling Autism" program (https://www.guidingeyes.org/prospective-students/children-with-autism/)

Get it, HEELing Autism, as in getting a dog to Heel...

Anyway, in early 2009 we had our interview with Guiding Eyes/Heeling Autism.  An amazing trainer named Caroline came to our house with a beautiful black lab to meet us, make sure we weren't kooks and seemed capable of handling the care of a dog, but more importantly she came to meet Kyle.  There was no miracle that day.  Kyle did notice the dog, and grabbed her tail as he ran by, which was all the trainer wanted to see.  We then took a leisurely stroll around the block with Kyle tethered and attached to this dog... and wouldn't you know it, Kyle just naturally grabbed on to her handle like he knew what he was supposed to do.  We were flabbergasted and so was Caroline.  Now at this point they'd placed maybe a dozen or so autism service dogs and she said she never saw a kid just naturally grab the handle.

A week later we got an acceptance letter.  We were in!  We had been approved for a service dog.  Now the hard part... THE WAIT!  12 months or more.  They have to pair the perfect dog with your kid and that takes time....

While we are waiting, let me take a step back and tell you more about Guiding Eyes and the process that they work with.  This may be very different from other autism service dog ORGANIZATIONS.  Now this is all in layman's terms.  If you want the official story peruse the Guiding Eyes site, specifically here (https://www.guidingeyes.org/about-us/journey-of-a-guiding-eyes-dog/ )

Anyway, the Guiding Eyes dogs are bred.  They pick the perfect male stud who's lineage has the right temperament to make a good service dog and pair him with a bunch of perfect females.  They have a HUGE kennel at their facility in Yorktown Heights, NY.  Anyway at some point after a dog is born, it goes to live with a puppy raiser.  This is a person or family who has volunteered to raise a dog as a puppy, give it basic obedience training, teach it not to pee or poop in the house, etc.  These people are AMAZING!  Why?  Because they do all the hard work.  They train these beautiful pups for 12-16 months and then they give them up!

They the pups go back to Guiding Eyes where a career path will be chosen.  Some dogs it's obvious that they'll make good blind guide dogs, other dogs have the right temperament for police work, other dogs just don't seem to have it at all (and are placed with a loving family), AND some have the perfect temperament to be an Autism Service Dog.

The way it was explained to me by the Guiding Eyes folks is that many of the Autism Dogs start out on a guide dog for the blind path.  , However, blind guide dogs need to be kinda aggressive, need to make their own decisions (to cross or not to cross, etc).  When they find a dog that is more passive, that waits for the handler to give direction, they redirect these dogs into autism service dog training.  The reason being is that with an autism service dog, it's the parents giving the commands.  (Other autism dog schools may do things differently, but this is the way it work with the Guiding Eyes/Heeling Autism dogs).

ANYWAY.... in May of 2010, we finally got word that we'll have our week long training with our service dog Paula at the end of May.  This is training for one parent (whoever will be the alpha male and be with the dog most of the time).  The one parent stays 5 nights at the Guiding Eyes facility.  So the wife had a week's vacation!  I took the week off from work and spent as much time up there as possible so I could get as much of the training & experience as possible.  Our family was amazing, picking up Kyle after school each day and hanging with him till I got home at around 7 each nite.

So very quickly about the training.  We met our GORGEOUS new dog (daughter :-) Paula, bonded with her and learned all the basics.  “Wait, sit, down, forward, etc, etc, etc.”  We practiced this EVERYWHERE that week…in malls, in restaurants, on busy city streets, etc.  And very often one of the trainers would play the part of an asd kid having a tantrum and we’d learn what to do and how Paula can help in that situation.    (These dogs thru all their training from when they were born were prepared for anything!  Screaming kids, loud noises, screaming parents J, etc.)
And I gotta take a moment to say that the 3 trainers we worked with were AMAZING!  They somehow knew more about autism and our daily struggles than many people / even experts in our autism world...  And they’ve only been doing this for 4-5 years.  Before that they were blind guide dog trainers.  Anyway…  AMAZING women.
Anyway, after a 5 day work week we brought Paula home to meet Kyle.  Nothing miraculous, but let’s just say Kyle didn’t ignore her and he noticed and seemed to appreciate her presence which in our world is a BIG thing.

So let’s get in to the nitty-gritty of what Paula helps Kyle and us with.  First off, you should know that we have the same rights as a blind person and are legally allowed to bring Paula with us EVERYWHERE (movies, restaurants, malls, supermarkets, playground, airplanes, etc).

Now Paula’s main job is to walk with Kyle.  She wears a special vest.   When Paula is wearing the vest, she is a working dog and shouldn’t be petted by strangers.  When the vest is off, she’s just a regular dog.  Anyway, she wears a vest and Kyle wears a special “belt” around his waist and he is tethered to Paula by a 2-4 foot strap.  (When they are out in public, he holds the handle on her best and they walk together.  Before Paula, we had to hold Kyle’s hand CONSTANTLY.  Now one of us holds Paula’s leash, Kyle hold her handle and we walk.  It gives him a lot more independence.  If Kyle goes to bolt, we tell Paula “WAIT” she freezes and locks up and Kyle can’t go anywhere.  That is her main job.   She also helps him navigate stairs better.  Before Paula, he’d fool around while walking and stop every step or so.  When attached to Paula he walks more typically, with more of a purpose. 

In restaurants, we usually ask for a booth.  We put Kyle on the inside, Paula lies on the floor, but is attached to Kyle and she keeps him closer to the table and hopefully more focused on eating.

The other big thing that Paula helps us with is meltdowns, tantrums, add, adhd.  When Kyle is having a meltdown or is extremely stimmy and can’t sit still (ants in the pants), we’ll attach them, put Paula in a down position, put on one of Kyle favorite tv shows and make them sit together for a half hour or so.  When it works it is MAGICAL! 
While on vacation this summer, we would attach them and Kyle would sit still and play with the sand for 30+ minutes!!  The sitting still part is HUGE in our world

So those are the main ways we use Paula to help us with Kyle.  It may not sound like much, but she is IMMENSELY helpful.   And most of the time, it’s not like we are forcing Kyle to stay still by attaching him to Paula.  He accepted it right away and sometimes he needs to be grounded for a half hour or so.

Do we bring her everywhere?  In the beginning, we kinda did.  Now we just bring her into situations where we know that she will be helpful (restaurants, movies, relatives houses, etc). 
Does she go with Kyle to school every day?  No…  And she kinda can’t.  Kyle is non-verbal.  Paula accepts commands from us (mom  & dad) and we can’t be in school all day.  So technically she can’t be with him in school all day.  She does go with the wife sometimes to help drop Kyle off and pick him up.

So, there will be weeks that go by that we kinda don’t use Paula as a guide dog at all.  But just with asd kids I think she might have a regression (“use it or lose it”) if we don’t utilize her skills often enough.  So we try to use her at least once a week out in public. 

Is it perfect?  No, not at all.  She is still a dog.  She still wants to eat ALL THE TIME and wants to play with socks all the time.  When her vest is on she is much better, but even when she is supposed to be working it’s not always perfect.   It's another situation in our lives where if Kyle was slightly higher functioning, slightly more aware, then we'd get a ton more out of the whole service dog experience.

But he's not more self-aware and he walks on and steps on the dog and when he does that she reacts and stops doing her job...which is frustrating for me & the wife, but totally understandable.  I mean they train and prepare these dogs for tons of different scenarios and situations but there ain't no training for a 55 pound oblivious kid stepping on your paw...

And there’s probably more things that Paula could help us with.  The trainers gave us a quick intro into “clicker training” and we could teach Paula to stop some of Kyle’s stims among other things, but clicker training takes a lot of time and work and is kinda like aba for dogs.  We barely have the time or energy to work with Kyle, so of course Paula’s clicker training takes a back seat. 

Anyway, that the gist of what she does.  It is not miraculous. It is not a cure.  It is not perfect.  But she is IMMENSELY helpful.   My wife and I were NOT dog people growing up.  And Paula has been a WONDERFUL addition to our family.  She is our daughter. 

Oh, and I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier but she was completely FREE!!  Guiding Eyes gives these dogs away for FREE!  Even the vet care is paid for if we bring her back to the Guiding Eyes facility in Yorktown Heights.    Would I have paid $10-13K for a dog like this (like other places want you to pay?)…probably, but I’d want more out of it.  I’ve heard of other dogs who are like blood hounds and can track missing kids… or who come already trained to stop certain stims (this is my grass is always greener syndrome coming out again).  If I paid over $10K I’d probably want those skills on top of what Paula brings. 

But what Paula brings is enough.  What Paula brings is plenty.  What Paula brings is beautiful, magical.  When I bring Kyle upstairs to go to sleep at night, Paula can’t wait to get up and jump on his bed and sleep with him.  (yes she sleeps with him J).  And you can see that she yearns for his attention.   Getting Paula is the best decision we’ve ever made for Kyle…

That’s all I got for now.  Please feel free to ask questions if I didn’t cover everything here.  I may add things to this note if I think of anything else.

Thanks for reading!

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  If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the search box above?  This way I can make a little money.  This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!



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35 comments:

  1. AWESOME!!!! We have a service dog for our dog that I have trained myself. I went to a local trainer and had him evaluated and was given the tools that I needed for him. I am an ex Vet Technician plus my mom trained her own mobility service dog, so I am very familiar with training. Plus, I knew what we needed for our family and what would work for us. I took the time and looked for a special dog and finally found one in a 7 week old lab/boarder collie cross. He is now 2 years old and a blessing to us. My son is higher functioning, but we too have a vest that has the handle on it and he has no problem holding on to it. McGee (our dog) has been a blessing and like you said...it may not be perfect all the time, but I could not go half the places we do if we did not have him. He truly helps with meltdowns, and focusing. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story!!!

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    1. Hi sorry to ask but how can I get my dog evaluated? And some special training.

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  2. Beautiful story....we have a 5 year old black lab mix service dog for my lower functioning autism kiddo. He came to us out of a prior service dog family where the handler became physically unable to work or use him at all and her family was abusive towards him from resentment...it took us awhile to get him to realize our house was different and while my son might occasionally lash out at any of us WE weren't going to hurt the dog. He now ignores my son's attacks of us and him and ignores all the loud noises (and yes, yelling) that happens in our house. One of his duties (besides tethering which is amazing) is the one he loves best as does my son and comes quite naturally to all dogs but labs especially. We discovered my son craves the sensory input of dog licks on his face (he even bends over after meals at friends homes to let the dog clean his face...yuck) and so the dog has now been taught (clicker training was super easy with this command) to lick his face on the command of "Chance, Kisses" we are also working on "light" which starts out with a simple touch command on his eye level and then is raised up a few notches weekly until he paws or noses a light switch to turn the light on or off and then you change the command from touch to light and yeah you get the idea. This one we actually had to change out one specific switch plate for and we chose the one between our garage and main area of our house and we put one of those flat switches on that is super responsive to touch with a flat palm. We have also noticed very recently (two years in now) that my non verbal kiddo is attempting to use both sign language and verbal commands to get the dog to do his base commands (wow...big steps there) and the dog recognizes even his very mumbled or completely off words and usually will perform the correct command based off my son's approximations....hit for sit with the doggie sign of raising your arm up and closing your fist...he also says come and tries to say heel and down. We are still waiting on him to ask for kisses but since that command is usually used during a meltdown and our kids aren't usually with it enough to ask for what they need in a meltdown we don't see that one really happening. At any rate....this is awesome news for you guys and I am so happy for you. Congrats on your new daughter :)

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  3. I had no idea there were dogs like that. I'm so happy for you folks! We have cats and one shares my son's room during the day. He won't let her stay at night. Every so often he interacts with them and it's magical as you say.

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  4. Beautiful story :) 8 months ago we got Bella..a service dog for our son Kyle. Now, Kyle is now concidered higher functioning but it all because of Bella!! Kyle is 6yrs old and until we got Bella, he was non-verbal and was diagnosed as moderate functioning, global developmental and adaptive delays. Anxiety disorder, ADHD and he wanders and bolts. He is now main stream classroom with a 1-1, he is VERY verbal (can't always understand him)but he's getting better by the day.. this is all thanks to having to give Bella commands. We also have a second dog, Delilah that is trained for search and rescue to be able to track Kyle if he were to wander. Yes, thats 2 service dogs :) Now that Kyle is verbal, we are working on getting Bella into school with him for next school year :)Bella is also trained for seizure detection and she was the one that told us that he's been having silent seizures!!! Now, if Bella can't be in school with Kyle right now then she goes EVERYWHERE with me during the day. We also got both of our service dogs for free from MSAR (Manitoba Search and Rescue) So, if any of your followers are in Manitoba Canada, PLEASE make the aware that this organisation is here..not many people know about them!!! We are FB friends so if you'd like, you can check our their "page" its called...Kyle and his Autism service dogs

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  5. Wonderful stories. It is heart warming to see how much these dogs bring to a family. We are a foster family for The Lions Foundation in Ontario. When we started in the mid 1980's they were called Canine Vision Canada, however, they now offer the 5 programs. So very few people realize that these service dogs are used for more than vision. Best wishes to all of you and your new members of your family.

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  6. I didn't know they had service dogs for autism, when I heard of it, I heard they were 10k or more. We def. can't afford that, so it's great news to hear you can get one for free. My son is 3, he wants to walk by his self and won't hold your hand, and throws a tanturm if you carry him or put him in a buggy. We deal with this every where we go, it would be wounderful to have a dog, just to walk with him, He would be comfortable and relaxed, and NOT throwing a tanturm, and we could let him walk and not have to worry about him running off. WE live in North Carolina, do you know how I can find out about getting a dog? Iam really not good on computers, and don't know who to contact about different things. This is all new to me and my husband I am trying to learn as much as I can. Do you know the name of a organization or what I can look up to find out in N.C.? Thanks, And I love your blogs, the've helped me alot, in understanding Autism, and that we are NOT alone in this.

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    1. Janice...There is http://www.canineassistants.org/faq.html

      but the waiting list is long!

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    2. Happy to speak with you about a service dog. Can be reached at mathis@ry-con.com

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  7. Hi, I work as a Special Education Assistant in the public school system in Canada. The little girl (I'll call her O.) that I support has a Austism Support Dog who attends school with her. I have been trained as his handler and am able to take over handling him when she is at school. He is an amazing animal and he adds so much not only to O's life, but to the students in her class and school as a whole. O's meltdowns are now minimal, she is fully integrated in her classroom and she is learning in leaps and bounds. I am so fortunate to get to spend my days with this amazing little girl and her beloved hairy companion! Is it possible for your to look into training your son's support person at school so that Paula could attend with him?

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  8. That was the sweetest story I have ever read from the autism world. The picture was beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. I always love the pictures of Kyle and Paula. You can tell they have a special bond.

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  10. I bought our dog Baxter after I found out my son was Autistic. He was three, nonverbal I was told by several people get him a dog ,so we did. Dristan started talking. !! He would get so excited. My dog never had training but Dristan could pull his tail sit on him and he never has growled at him or bit him. Dristan just started talking and it didnt stop. He is now 9 we still have Baxter anf they are buds.!! Dristan also talks alot. =)

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  11. I sought out the perfect puppy for service dog training as soon as my son was diagnosed at age 5. He had meltdowns several times a day and was mostly non-verbal and self-injurious. We just couldn't reach him in his world! He is now 7 and we have had Jessie with him for 2 years. She is amazing! Even before training began she followed my son around like she knew he needed her. She is trained to walk beside him (or romp through the park along with him). She lays on him when he begins to meltdown so he is forced not to bang his head. She is now learning to block him when he becomes overwhelmed by crowds - to make some space for him. Two amazing things happened immediately when we got Jessie - he stopped the daily tantrums, they still happen regularly but not all day everyday; and he began to communicate WITH us. We still cant comprehend some things, but we can have conversations now. He is like an entirely different boy.

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  12. Hi Autism Dad and autism families. I am the grandmother of two autistic girls. The 9 year old (Gina) is severe classic autistic and the 3 year old (Maddie)is high-functioning. I moved to Texas from Florida to help my daughter with her children, that left my fully disabled daughter with her daddy and step-mama. I resently adopted a rescue Aussie that Maddie named Jesse (after Jessie on Toy Story). I was surprised that Jess already knew "sit" and "shake". He did not startle at the girls loud shouts and he today he proved what he wants his job to be. Gina was having a severe meltdown and Jesse circled her until she sat on the floor and then he "kissed" the tears away until Gina was smiling and touched his back. Jess was happy with this and went on playing with his toys. Gina was calm for a couple hours until we brought he back to daddy's house. Gina is strong and violent so she stays with her daddy but visits us every weekend. Jess even keeps Gina from hurting Maddie!! The second day we had him I walked him about a mile and was shocked to find him walking at my left side and looking at my face every once in awhile. Now (3rd day) he is doing sit-stay, come-around, and wait at curbs (I only had to do wait three times and now he just waits). He is only 6 months old so I am training him as Maddies service dog!! He sleeps with his head on her hips and she has not had a night-terror yet (crossing fingers). This was not planned by us but I think that Jesse had his own plans when he looked into my eyes through that cage. He is now our FOREVER DOG!! His only problem is he wants to play with all other dogs that he comes across and barks at any person that gets too close. Autism Service Dogs are a God-send!! Good luck to all of us with our ASD kids. <3

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  13. I really wish that dogs like this had been available when I was a kid.I had such terrible problems with wandering,including wandering away from school,head banging,destroying and breaking stuff...in stores,Who knows what kind of trouble,heartbreak,and misery could have been prevented,for me and others,if they had dogs like this,forty,fifty years ago.

    As others have pointed out here,moderate,to severe autism is not new,but doctors and psychiatrists didn't always know what to call it back in the day.

    There needs to be more said about how lucky autistic kids are today,compared to the way things were in the 50s,60s,and 70s.Of course those that want to promote the idea of an "autism epidemic" are never going to do that.

    Just a little something else to make you uncomfortable about autism.

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  14. Service dogs are great, and it's great to hear that Paula has helped.
    I have a dog, not a service dog, just a pet, and she has been very helpful with my 13 y/o asd son. Before her my son didn't like dogs, just ignored them, but he LOVES her & she helps him deal with crowds. He gets so focused on her that he doesn't try to bolt & even if he tried, between her 110 lbs & my weight we can stop him in his tracks.

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  15. We recently had to put our service dog down. Its a nightmare trying to get another one. All the organizations I have contacted for our area have a cut off age and my son is now 13 and considered to old. Its gets harder and harder it seems to find help as my son gets older.

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    1. The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program for Autism has a cut off age of 18 and people whose services dogs have passed are put first on the list to be placed with another. I'm not sure what other organizations are like, but that's terrible. I'm sorry for your struggle. If you're located in Canada, you should consider applying to LFCDG.

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  16. I was going to get my son a service dog, but decided my daughter was too rough for dogs. however (and this will sound odd) my cat has somewhat made herself into a mini service cat for sleeping! when my sons having issues falling asleep, she curls up on his bed beside him, he pets her and falls asleep a lot easier. he's bonded with her so much. that little cat sits on his lap, lays with her head on his chest, everything. all since she was 6 months old.

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  17. I'd like to know if Paula would alert you if your son was in danger, as in Kyle opening door and walking outside.

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  18. For those in the Toledo area, you'll want to check out this fabulous group that works with ASD kids to do agility work. Amazing, amazing people: http://www.agilityangels.org/

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  19. Does anyone know of a group that provides service in Alabama?

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  20. If you're like us, your pets Is Being family. When you can not be home for 'em, you want' em taken care of for the love and care you give 'em. That is exactly what we do at Belltown Dog Walker, because we love dogs! Belltown Dog Walker has expanded and is now serving Belltown, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Lower Lake Union, Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods! Belltown Dog Walker provides services to a variety of situations. Choose the schedule and services you want, and we'll do the rest.Dog Walker Seattle

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  21. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this,I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

    autism ireland & gheel

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  22. Hi AD...I have a 6.5yo ASD...

    Please excuse the following question if it's a repeat...have you tried sign language with Kyle and Paula? my son was nonverbal for 5 years, but he seemed to pick up sign language despite his verbal shortage. We had GSDs and trained them ourselves using both verbal and sign language and they picked up the sign language about 1-2 repetition less than our verbal...maybe Kyle may learn sign to give commands to Paula and a way to interact with you both? just a thought and i'm sorry if it's something you already tried...i know it could be frustrating to hear it again...

    Cheers...

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  23. My wife posted your link to your page to my FB page, figured I'd give it a read, so glad I did. I have 3 out of 4 that are on the spectrum but my 3 year old is more severly effected but she is "verbal". I really just want to thank you for sharing your story. It gives me something to hold on to. Thanks again

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  24. My daughter has autism. She has a tendency to run, among other reasons for wanting a service dog. Unfortunately we are very low income. I know that paws for the cause has autism dogs free for the families. Unfortunately, they require the child to be no older than 7 when the first application is submitted. Naturally, I did not find out anything until Chey was 7 1/2. I am not close enough to this particular group for our family to qualify (we are in Michigan, so rather far from the 2 hour driving distance limit). You mentioned receiving emails for years... I looked into a few places.. some want 25k for a service dog (some want less, but still 10,000), which is impossible for us. Others at least require a parent (as go between for dog and child) to stay in California for 2 weeks, on our dime. Even that is not possible on our family's income (we could pay for the dog's food, and would be able to take care of him, but any more...). I am wondering if you can share the various links you were sent. There has to be a way to get my daughter a service dog, but I do not know what it is. I'm willing to check any and all links I can find, just to see if we can make it work. I just do not know where to begin. Any time I see anyone talk about a service dog for autism, I get very excited, hoping there is a way, but so far, nothing has had possibilities for us. I'm just looking for more leads at this point. Can you help?

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  25. we have a son with autism. he is verbal and does AMAZING at school. so great, in fact, that he has had absolutely no meltdowns at school and is receiving tons of praise to which we are extremely proud of him for. BUT... he has meltdowns, sensory issues, the usual related to autism. he also wanders and will run. the other day in the neighborhood while riding his scooter with his sister on the sidewalk, i turned my back for 10 seconds to pick up the sidewalk chalk and i didn't see him, he was gone... following a bird up the hill towards another building. it's terrifying. last week we got Molly... .she is a black lab. we are talking with a lady right now that trains police dogs and other family dogs and just finished training a pup for another family in our county who has a son with autism. Molly is 11 weeks old today and we'll be getting her started soon. she has already seen her share of screaming, running, fear, excitement, etc in our house and she's like...''there they go again, i'm just going to lay over here while they calm down'' ... she is amazingly smart and we're so thankful for her already. i'm hoping and praying that she will be a great asset to my son and help where we can't get his attention. he zones out and it's a scary thing... he will go with anybody and and hug anybody. no stranger danger. we need molly... whether our family understands are not, ''your kid isn't blind or something, he can walk on his own, why do you need a service dog''.... she's part of the family now, and it IS something amazing and i cannot wait to see how this helps. thank you so much for this post!

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  26. I've seen service dogs in action in all sorts of places, they do amazing jobs, and are extremely well trained. I mean you can't train a dog not to bark, whine, or yelp when someone steps on them, humans do too when someone steps on them LOL.

    Its great to hear that Paula helps out a lot with Kyle. These dogs can react and sense things before humans can, they're amazing animals. I'm glad to hear that Paula didn't cost you a fortune, and I'm sure there's a ton more training she could go through if needed in the future.

    I don't really read much in the way of your blogs, just the quick posts you have on Facebook, however the few blog posts I have read have been extremely interesting. Thank you for taking the time out of your life and from your family and sharing your real world experiences with the rest of us.

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  27. Thank you so much for sharing this again! We're nearing our training with our service dog, Sybil. I'd love to see a post about what you've learned in the time you've had Paula and any advice you'd give for new service dog owners. Sammy is verbal, but also epileptic. We are hoping to transition Sybil to school around spring break time.

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  28. We got our furball Frodo Doodle (golden doodle) from My Canine Companion in Ireland .. We puppy walked him since he was 9 weeks old and at 14mnts he went back to HQ for assistance training ... It was the longest 9mnts (would have been only three if the dog didn't pine for my Lil man and worked with the trainer as well as he did with me) ever ... He came back fully trained in Sept and since his back the two of them are inseparable... Totally made my live easier and love our furbaby to bits

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  29. Thank you so much for sharing This post. It's gretful blog I have really enjoyed keeping up with you on this blog.
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  30. Does the service dog help your son sleep? My kiddo is always restless and hates weighted blankets or anything on him. He'd rather freeze than be covered.

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  31. Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success.. Hook and Loop

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