As a teenager, making friends and forming bonds are a way of life. But in 2016, for then-15-year-old Devon, who was diagnosed with autism, apraxia and epilepsy, initiating interactions was difficult. His mom, Colleen, explained how she hoped a service dog would benefit her son.
“Our hope was that an autism spectrum service dog would give companionship to Devon, lessen his anxiety and increase his awareness to his surroundings,” she said. “He had developed a fear of engaging in activities because of his seizure disorder. Devon is a triplet and we felt that a dog, at this time in his life, would give him companionship as his brothers complete high school and get ready to go off to college.”
It has been more than six months since another “brother” was added to Devon’s family – that new family member being service dog Dylan.
“Dylan has been such a blessing to Devon and our entire family,” said Colleen. “Devon has been seizure free since Dylan has joined our family.”
Along with being free of seizures, Devon’s anxiety has decreased and he has become more independent in many ways. Colleen explained, “He keeps his room clean without reminders, takes care of personal hygiene and makes snacks without asking for assistance. We recently moved to a new home and Devon was a huge help. He not only packed his boxes, but helped with all the other packing. He moved boxes, even those too heavy for Mom, and helped with all the unpacking.”
With the help of his sidekick Dylan, Devon has gained independence that he can rely on when his brothers leave for college. The companionship and calming factors that Dylan provides to Devon will only multiply as this dynamic duo continue on their journey together.
It is a very Thankful Thanksgiving for Devon and Dylan, thanks to your ongoing support of W.A.G.S. 4 Kids’ programs and children. Check in next Thursday for the final Part 4 of our 2018 “A Thankful Thanksgiving” blog series.
If you’d like to change the life of another child in Devon’s name, please click the button below to make your online donation today. Along with us, you are “Growing Possibilities, One Child at a Time.”