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Autism and Service Dogs-Help Gracie

I have a dear friend with a 2.5 year old dignosed with Autism.  Well technically Gracie was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and a Sensory Processing disorder at 20 months. She is now 2 ½. She is a beautiful, smart, and mischievous girl. She loves her mom and dad and big sister Emma with all her heart. She has also always had a special love for animals, just like her mom! Her parents noticed something different about Grace at 14 months. She just wasn’t responding like other children. Her tantrums were way beyond what was normal for a child of her age. She stopped talking, and seemed to be unable to cope with anything that didn’t happen just the way she wanted it to. She had certain repetitive behaviors that she just couldn’t seem to stop such as opening and closing our cabinet doors and spinning in circles. It was not uncommon for her to scream for hours, throw herself off of her highchair, or to bang her head on the floor or walls repeatedly.

Currently Gracies family is fundraising to get her a service dog.  They have been doing Brat fries and have several other people and business's helping.  Coming up in September they are doing a huge benefit.  I am hoping to sell tickets and help on that day.  

If you would like to contribute and read more about Gracie's Story head on over to COMPASSIONATE PAWS to make a donation right online.  It is $9,000 that needs to be raised for the dog and his training.     They take credit cards and even paypal!  :)  Even a dollar help's to reach this goal!!!!  Or to keep up to date on how the fundraising is going you can check out the facebook page HERE. Have any products to donate for a silent auction?  Head on over to the facebook page and let mom, Jennie, know!   

Autism, Autism, Autism... some people are afraid of this word or worse yet afraid of people or kids with it.  It is strange because with Autism the person with it has a hard time understanding emotions and normal social cues but then other people just don't know what to do when around someone with autism. Can you imagine being a parent?  Being Jennie and her husband and trying over and over repetition again and again something so small but so significant such as communicating "I LOVE YOU."  Jennie just told me how long it took for her daughter to communicate "I love you."  There will be so many more things ahead for Gracie and her family.  I was browsing the internet and saw some neat resources for anyone with autism.  It is called "Rules of the Games"  a 4 book series on helping parents teach their child with Autism.  The books were written by a parent who has a son with Autism.  

"The “Rules of the Game” books allow children to understand their emotions
They learn about the world’s 'social ways' and also allows them to learn
what responsibility they own, and what responsibility does not belong
on their shoulders, and in fact belongs to another person."

Topics covered in Book 1
  • Emotions and Feelings
  • Reflecting
  • Communicate
  • Rules
  • Idioms
  • Responsible
  • You are OK
  • Body Language
  • Different Perspectives
  • Exceptions To The Rules
Topics covered in Book 2
  • Think It - Don't Say It
  • Taking The Blame
  • Me, Me, Me
  • Copying
  • Cheezed Off
  • When They Stare
  • It's Worth A Try
  • Mistakes, Oops
Topics covered in Book 3
  • Unspoken Expectations
  • Words
  • Expectations
  • Respect
  • Choices
  • Opinions
  • Disappointed
  • Pretending
  • Just Pick It Up
opics covered in Book 4
  • Hurting On The Inside
  • Bullies
  • Just Ask
  • Look At Me
  • Hush
  • When Things Just Suck
  • Remember ... What ?
  • Up words and down words
  • Getting to know me
  • This Is Me mini book
  •'re snowballing
  • Thoughts=Feelings=Responses
  • Re-Think It !
  • Do you feel what I feel ?
  • Teachers Role

Thanks for reading!  Please consider helping GRACIE get her service dog! 

A note from Gracie's mom (taken off the Compassionate Paws website):  
"Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” It is our prayer that a service dog could benefit Grace in many ways. Our children are gifts from God. It is my belief to raise my children in a way that is honoring to God. I believe that our children are also gifts to us. It is my job to raise my girls and make them as successful and productive as possible.

It is my hope and prayer that a service dog will provide Grace with the self-confidence she needs to be that beautiful girl in public I know she can be, help her overcome her anxiety when we are not home, as well as to help her separate from her mom and dad better. When she has a meltdown a service dog can help her to calm down and help to teach her about emotions. It can encourage her to talk to people, and hopefully add another safety net to the hopes she will not leave the house or run away in a public place. It is my hope and prayer that this dog will be able to assist Grace in becoming the wonderful girl I know she is. It is through your efforts and contributions that this will be made possible. Thank you for helping to change Gracie’s life forever!"


Jenn said…
I totally wasnt going to look at this tonight cause I knew it would make me cry! but then I read it anyway! Thank you!!! You are totally awesome! Those books look really cool too! I think I may just have to get them!
I love you Jennie!! Go check her blog out too!!!!

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