What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?
Devin is adopted from the Foster Care system. He had a very rough start to life because he was born addicted to crack cocaine and fetal alcohol syndrome, he went through horrible withdrawls and was hospitalized for almost 6 months. He had a very challenging, but loving childhood. At age 10, Devin was diagnosed with Autism, in addition to his early diagnoses of ADHD, FAS, RAD, and mood disorder (biologically inherited). The last few years have been extremely difficult for Devin to maintain self control and regulate his emotions. Unfortunatley his behaviors need 24/7 supervision. We hope this specially trained service dog can show how animals can provide love and support to humans with medical and psychiatric needs. The power to heal!!!
How will you use the $10k?
1. Scent Tracking Devin’s dog will be taught to track him and locate him via scent. This is a similar task to “Search and Rescue”, only his dog will be taught to just locate him.2. Deep Pressure TherapyDevin’s dog will be taught to use their body weight, providing a similar benefit to a weighted vest or blanket, when Devin is overstimulated, uncomfortable, stressed, etc. The dog will be taught to perform deep pressure therapy whether Devin is laying down, standing, or sitting. 3. CuddlingDevin’s dog will be taught specifically to cuddle in bed to keep him relaxed through the night for better sleep. 4. Behavior InterruptionDevin’s dog will be taught to bump him with his nose when he starts to escalate, before he reaches a "10".
What impact do you hope to make?
Devin will benefit tremendously from a service dog. The dog will be matched for him and specially trained to help him cope. The dog will be able to perform Deep Pressure techniques, by using paws and their body much like an Occupational therapist would do. Devin is also a runner and bolts away when upset, which is very dangerous. His dog will be trained for scent tracking when he runs and hides and the dog will also wear a collar with a GPS tracker on it. It is proven these Autism service dogs are extremely effective for sensory kiddos. They help provide sense of belonging and pride, and decrease episodes tremendously. Having a service dog would be life changing for Devin! Devin can reach others by sharing his dog with the community