We have found out many of the tasks an assistance dog can do with children on the Autism Spectrum which also correlates to his other two disorders. Here are some of the things that a service dog will do for RJ:
* Encourage the child to leave a cherished inanimate world
* Act as a companion, offering unconditional love and friendship
* Provide increased safety, preventing the child from bolting into traffic or other dangerous situations
* Offers more freedom to parents by allowing them to shop and not worry about losing sight of the child or the possibility of the child becoming a flight risk
* Can be trained to track a child who has wondered off – offering added safety and peace-of-mind to the family
* Helps improve behavior, by lending support to the child as they cope in highly stressful situations and with routine changes
* Ease the transition to public places like school or the mall
* Help modify the child's behaviour, redirecting the child's focus at school
* Keep a child at their desk
* Helps improve communication
* Helps parents and families educate others about Autism and Autism service dogs and the benefits a service dog has made in their lives
* And the dog can provide independence, allowing the child to walk down the street without holding a parent's hand
* For a child with autism, having a specially trained service dog allows them the benefit of greater social interaction with their peers, increasing the child's self-esteem
Some of the problems we have with my son, RJ, are that he runs away; bolts even. Not only from stores into parking lots and streets, but from schools. RJ doesn't like to leave the house or play outside for very long if at all. He has trouble sitting still for any period of time in school, for meals, in movies, etc. RJ gets over stimulated with loud noises and crowds. He gets easily angered, has meltdowns, and has spatial awareness issues where he has to be touching, bouncing, spinning, etc. Due to his meltdowns RJ will start harming himself, such as biting and scratching, or even taking his clothes off. RJ also has difficulty communicating his wants and needs, as well as social difficulties with understanding his peers and even adults. RJ has trouble falling asleep and even waking up.
The last few nights I have sent my service dog to bed with RJ, so he can go to sleep and we do not need to spend hours fighting to keep him in bed. It has worked well. Yes, this is wonderful news and he is getting more sleep and the mornings are not a fight either. However, I am not able to utilize my service dog while he's with RJ and so this only works when I have another adult at home to assist me.
I am asking you to please help us obtain this service dog for RJ. We have found a wonderful program called On Q Siberians in South Bend, Indiana, which is an intimate program that tailors the dog to fit the needs of the family and has extremely high standards. On Q has a 6-month old pup, named Rocky, ready to begin training for RJ as soon as we pay the deposit of $1,000 and then we can continue to make payments as training continues to reach the $5,500 balance. I have known about the owner, Angel, for many years and have seen dogs she has placed. Another huge and wonderful benefit with On Q is that she will bring the dog out to us and work with us here in our town, home and school. You can check out On Q at www.onqsiberians.org for more information.
The cost of a service dog is quite expensive; however with a little help from everyone the cost can be greatly reduced. We will be able to provide this wonderful little boy with a much needed medical device that can greatly reduce the symptoms and problems he is having not only at home, but also at school that ONLY a Service Dog can do.
Please help us by donating to Randon James Cristner for his service dog. Please help spread the word and share his website www.randonjames.org.
Randon James Cristner
90 W. Madison Ave
Belgrade, MT 59714-3955