Well, we just love to talk about our kids! (What parent doesn’t?!) But we admit, sometimes it isn’t always easy to share about all the traits that make our son who he is. James is amazingly smart… he has about 1000 different dinosaurs in his room and he knows their names and pronunciations, and he’s only five years old! He gives the best hugs, and his smile makes everyone smile. James gives great attention to detail. He is very empathetic and needs to “fix” people when they are hurt. James is incredibly energetic and athletic, his favorite show on television is So You Think You Can Dance—he loves to imitate the dancers and all the dance moves, especially the contemporary style.
Along with an autism diagnosis, James has ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and some developmental delays. The slightest changes to his routine can be very difficult for him to process, resulting in a meltdown. Every toy has a specific place, and any variance means it is wrong, or broken, in his eyes. Many activities such as grocery shopping, eating in restaurants, mall shopping, movies, amusement parks, birthday parties, family holidays, to name only a few, are excruciating for a child with autism. The overload of stimuli becomes too much for them and is physically painful. James covers his ears, screams, kicks, runs away and hits us. All he wants is to escape. James has trouble interacting with his peers. Most kids are not quite sure how to feel about him after witnessing one of episodes—he is a little scary! He is what we affectionately call The Great Escape Artist (like Harry Houdini himself!) We have alarms installed on every door for his safety, and he is never without a set of adult eyes on him. James also likes to run away in parking lots and outside in the yard, often towards the road. He doesn’t recognize danger and knows no fear.
A Paws4Autism service dog would benefit James in so many ways! He would finally have a companion, someone to bond with that doesn’t judge him. A dog would help calm him through a meltdown and eventually help him avoid meltdowns for similar situations. A service dog would be trained to keep James safe from elopement and bolting, away from traffic, water, etc. We know that a service dog would greatly improve the quality of our son’s life and we would be so thankful for any help you could give to James and others kids like him!!