We are the proud parents of two boys born into this world into a loving and caring family. At 18-months old our sons were both diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
One son also has cognitive disabilities. ASD results in difficulty with communication and interaction with other people, restricts interests and causes repetitive behaviors, including self-harm. These symptoms inhibit their ability to function properly in school and other areas of life.
Although we are fortunate to have insurance and both boys receive intensive therapy, the on-going care for them has been challenging. Services for both boys involve over 60 hours a week of therapy that include Applied Behavior Analysis, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Social Groups.
Close relatives have been a constant support to our family and have given their time and financial support to make sure our sons receive the care they need.The reason we decided to started a GoFundMe account is because their therapists recommend they are supported by a companion psychiatric therapy dog.
These dogs are trained to identify and assist those with ASD when they are undergoing an anxiety attack, frustration with the ability to communicate, and also provide sensory input to help keep them calm. Research has shown that these dogs can help shorten autism melt-downs and provide a safe companion when sensory input is needed. We have researched these therapy dogs and have found several credible organizations that train these dogs and place them with those with ASD. As with anything else, the training is not free and can take over a year. Typical training costs up to $50k per dog.
Families are asked to fundraise half of the cost per dog. We are saving money to get the dog for our sons, but saving up $25k with medical and school costs makes this challenging. Our goal is to raise $15k in support of our sons so that they can have the companionship of a therapy dog that will help them develop and continue to improve their livelihood.
Thank you so much for your consideration and generosity,
Bryce and Cynthia