Connor was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his 4th birthday. He was developing and hitting most milestones on schedule: He crawled, sat up and started walking around one. While his speech was delayed, progress was made with the help of speech therapy. We found some wonderful specialists and without their help we would not be where we are today. In 2009, Connor had a feeding tube placed in his nose. Within 6 months we saw great progress – 9 pounds. We stopped the tube for 1 year hoping his body would continue to grow and develop on its own but it did not. In 2012 we had a GI placed in his stomach. A few months after that he was diagnosed with RSS (Russell-Silver Syndrome) which is a muscle problem with a failure to thrive.
Even with all these obstacles, Connor is full of life, bright, funny and a joy to be with. We still have many challenges in front of us however the presence of a service dog would boost Connor’s socialization skills, relationships, respect for others and self worth. Animals have a very calming affect which Connor sometimes needs. As a parent, you want to give your child everything, but without your help and contributions, I’m not sure if this would be possible.