3 year old Thor needs help with the cost of travel from Quesnel, BC to Xenia, Ohio to go to 2 weeks of training to get an Autism Service Dog; trained to help him through his daily life, as well as in search & rescue when he wanders and hides during times of high stress/anxiety.
Who is Thor, and why does he need a Service dog?
Thor, was a bright baby and by 15 months he could use short sentences (“How you doin’ dude?”) and had an extensive vocabulary for his age. When he was about 18 months, Thor slowly regressed to non-verbal and showed signs of aggression, self injury, and severe anxiety. Thor was diagnosed on April 14th, 2011 wtih Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and extreme Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
There are many issues that arise from Thor’s disabilities that make living each day difficult, both for Thor and his mother- a single parent. She must keep a constant eye on him, and be with him at all times. His severe anxiety cause him to run away and hide even when out in public, and he also self injures (hitting, slapping, pinching himself and even banging his head on hard surfaces).
“Close your eyes and imagine this: You spend years trying to have a child and finally it happens. He is perfect. He develops normally for the first 18 months…and then something happens. He loses his ability to talk. To kick a ball. To hold a spoon. He hurts himself, and needs a helmet to prevent brain injuries. Fear grips you as you realize, “…something is wrong with my baby.” Grief overcomes you as you mourn the loss of your “perfect” child. You must now organize a therapy schedule…nearly 35 hours a week just to regain those lost skills. Life has changed for your family, but you somehow learn to accept and move on. To rebuild your idea of “normal” and to advocate for your child and those just like him.”
How will a Service Dog help?
A service dog would allow Thor the ability to have more freedom when in public by having him tethered to the dog and being able to walk along side the dog, rather than being carried or strapped in a stroller. A service dog would also be able to track and retrieve Thor if he were to get away from his mom, comfort him when he is upset or having a meltdown, and keep him from dangerous activities and bad behaviors (such as hitting himself or banging his head on hard surfaces – for which he requires a helmet right now). It would give mom another set of eyes to keep Thor safe.
4 Paws for Ability takes a child with Autism and all the difficulties they have with verbalization, communication, and social relationships and pairs them with a well trained service dog specifically trained to meet their unique needs; to create a consistency in the child’s life as their dogs go every where that they go, even within places of public accommodation, and the educational system bringing along with them: consistency, stability, and calm reassurance that the feelings of anxiety or fear are not needed because their trusted buddy is by their side.
How you can help?
Spread the Word!
and Please visit the fundraising page :
*UPDATE – Thor has been approved to receive an Autism service dog and we have already raised the $13,000 needed to get his dog trained. We are now facing a new obstacle: the cost of travel from Northern BC (Canada) to Ohio for 2 weeks of training. The cost of flights, hotels, car rentals, etc are approximately $10,000. In Thor’s particular case the dog would also be trained in Search and Rescue, giving his mother an extra pair of eyes and a keen sense of smell to help locate her son when he wanders and hides. THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us in this journey!!
*Permission from Thor’s mommy to share his story, pictures and fundraiser..
Why Did I choose this story?
Just browsing along my merrily way across the web, I happened upon a page. paws4thor.com
The first thing that caught my eye, was the adorable photo above, Thor wearing headphones. The second, was this mom’s heartfelt post: “But he doesn’t look Autistic”
When I read those words (see quoted above) It really touched something in me. I related. I got teary-eyed.. I have three children, and every mothers’ worst nightmare came true for her.
My husband and I are also disabled, with “invisible” conditions.. All THREE of my kids were diagnosed with ADHD..
Then there is the fact that I have a Cousin and Nephew with Autism. My nephew is under the age of 10 and visits regularly.. He has a fascination with me- to him I am “silly boy” which is his term for anyone he favors- regardless of gender; He will tirelessly and persistently repeat his endearment to me the whole time he is here…So I patiently & consistently repeat it back to him- as if its our little game (and my poor garden sprinklers.. I am always buying new sprinkler heads after he leaves..) If you know someone with Autism, you probably have a similar story.
So as a casual “reader” I was drawn in to Thor’s Story.. and completely moved by it and the trials they go through on a daily basis..
As a “Mom” it literally touched my heart and soul.. I also love knowing that through it all she still has a sense of humor (which i believe is a necessity to surviving any hardship!)
This is why I chose to Feature Thor’s story~