Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dogs and Spectrum Kiddos...

I have heard (and seen with my own eyes more than once) what a service dog can do for a child with autism. And a fellow warrior mom and blogger is working hard on making the dream of a companion/therapy dog possible for her amazing daughter.
Please go here, and once you've read the story, please consider a contribution to making Riley's dream come true...



I have considered pursuing a service dog for Salamander off and on over the years...
He has an amazing affinity with and for the dogs that pass through the neighborhood. I will also never EVER forget the absolutely incredible interaction I witnessed between Salamander and the alpha female of a pack of timber wolves (there is a preserve somewhere in Delaware that we visited during a family vacation; the vacation was otherwise an absolute and horrific disaster as this was just before the light bulb went off that not all was well with Salamander, and he was seriously escalating at that point).
Even the preserve keeper just stood there with his mouth hanging open - he had never seen this particular wolf respond this strongly to a child and vice versa.

I am just not ready to make the commitment to a service dog for Salamander at this point in time. But I will probably revisit next summer...
There is an organization here in Mass. I have met with and spoken with representatives, and very happy clients of this organization at a couple of autism conferences.

Okay.. off to my paying job now...

2 Comments:

At 1:27 PM, November 20, 2008 , Blogger K Fuller said...

When you are ready, there is nothing more wonderful than when a child and the right dog connect. If I could have cloned the Border Collie we had when Nick was little I would have. She was his angel and followed him everywhere. Nick was her job.
If you are not ready for a dog, look for a Therapeutic Horseback riding program. Nick has been riding for about 8 years. This is something he loves so much we arrange everything around it and it is rare that we miss it. Back in the day, he was afraid of everything, we had tears and terror with anything new. The first time he rode in the program, the instructor got onto the horse behind him to reassure him that he was safe. After about 10 min he turned around to her and said "You get off" and he was pretty much non verbal at the time. Animals of any kind, even yucky reptiles reach humans in a place deep in the soul.

 
At 2:33 PM, November 20, 2008 , Blogger CharlieInWonderlandDotCom said...

Karen, thanks for that info! I'm going to check into that for Charlie. Will you email me any special info I need to know - do the instructors need special training, etc.?

Petra, you should write up the wolf story.. sounds interesting!

 

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