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A Thankful Thanksgiving

Logan & Rockford

· Autism,Mission Accomplished

Talk about coming full circle! We were introduced to Logan just over a year ago in October 2015 as a funny, outgoing and kind 13 year-old. Logan loved NASCAR, Minecraft, building with Legos and watching sports. He likes to sing and enjoys music as well.

When the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids staff first met Logan, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD, and struggled with anxiety. With difficulty forming relationships and making friends, focusing and completing tasks, as well as communicating what he is feeling and thinking, this can led to a lot of frustration. Logan was adopted by his parents when he was four and a half years-old and after living in 3 previous households. As the fourth placement he had known, all of that moving caused him to continuously worry about feeling secure.

"We wanted an Autism Service Dog to help Logan with his anxiety, controlling his emotions and learning to connect with others" said Dad, Ted. And that's exactly what the staff at W.A.G.S. 4 Kids then set out to provide for Logan and his family in task training Logan's service dog. It has been little more than 6 months since Logan and Rockford's first day together. To see them together - it's really something special.

"What we did that was really cool," explains Wendy Crann, W.A.G.S. 4 Kids' Executive Director, "is we trained Rockford to play. From day 1 Logan had a best friend that he was invested in caring for and that he could take out into the world and use as a bridge to connect to others around him. All of a sudden, he was the cool kid with the dog. And that dog was specifically task trained to maximize his quality of life. The power of play in all its forms anywhere and everywhere - is truly transformative."

Echoes Logan's dad, Ted "Logan is learning responsibility by helping to care for Rockford. He is also proud to show other people his dog. Logan seems to be less anxious by having Rockford with him. They are definitely building a bond with each other."

Check back next week for our Thanksgiving Day installment of "A Thankful Thanksgiving" and catch a sneak peak of special holiday surprises to come...from our hearts to yours, Your W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Family

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