$742 of $15,000
11 donations

This fundraiser ended on 12/05/11

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The family of Jonathan Brown are uniting to raise money to help with gaining the opportunity to add a trained service dog to his life.

The organization we are working with is called 4 Paws for Ability they are extremely reputable with placing families with special needs patients with dogs.

Jonathan has been diagnose with Autism it's been recommend that we get a service dog who specializes in Autism.

For Jonathan an Autism Service Dog Will:

• Search and Rescue/Tracking: Jonathan, like almost all children with autism, has a strong tendency to wander away and use evasive escaping behavior. The risk of him getting lost when we are away from home (in a crowded shopping mall, at the park on a family vacation) is much greater, and seems inevitable without help. In the event that Jonathan ever wanders away, a service dog with tracking skills will find Jonathan within precious minutes and seconds when simply given the command to find his boy.

• Behavior disruption: Autistic children commonly engage in repetitive behavior, Jonathan is no exception. Some of his tendencies include hand flapping, biting, head rolling, head butting and spinning in circles. A service dog trained in behavior disruption will be trained to recognize Jonathan’s particular behaviors as a signal to place his or her paw or nose on Jonathan to stop the behavior. To the dog, when given an occasional treat, this is a game. It encourages Jonathan to cease his repetitive behavior, and may even help him engage with the dog and more socially appropriate behavior. Additionally, this helps the parent/teacher to be more hands off with Jonathan and use verbal commands more sparingly.

• Tethering: This skill will provide one of the greatest benefits for Jonathan and us. Here, the service dog wears a special tethering leash. Jonathan will be connected to the dog with one portion of the leash. We, the handlers, will control the dog with a second leash. With tethering we will find a new freedom out in the community. Currently, shopping, trips to amusement parks, public gatherings and other outings are things we try to avoid with Jonathan as we constantly have to have our hand on him or be close enough to run after him when (not if) he tries to run/roll away. Tethering will help us and offer Jonathan more independence as our hands are off him. In the event Jonathan impulsively rolls his wheelchair towards a dangerous situation (like an oncoming car) or disobediently bolts, we as handlers command the dog to go into a down onto the ground which will hold Jonathan apply a small amount of resistant to give someone a little more time to get to him adding multiple layers of protection. With time many children get so accustomed to tethering that they actually find it calming when out in public.

• Sensory interventions: Jonathan’s autism makes him crave heavy sensory input this is a key factor in much of his maladaptive and self-injurious behavior. A service dog will help provide the deep pressure Jonathan needs to calm him. The dog will be trained to sit on Jonathan’s lap and to allow Jonathan to lie against him. A potential outcome is that Jonathan will decrease his less socially acceptable ways of seeking sensory input, such as stemming, running over people in public places.

By helping us achieve this goal you are actually helping another child have the opportunity being provided to us. We are firm believers in what 4 Paws For Ability is doing and we plan to support then with their goal to give every child who needs a service animal just that a companion.
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