Gabriel “Gabe” is a 9 year old boy who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. Originally from West Virginia, he was working with birth to three-years-old on a sensory disorder and speech delays, which led to an evaluation for autism. With therapy, Gabe is now able to talk and continuously communicates his wants and needs and sings all day., He still struggles to have a two way conversation. Gabe has a developmental delay, still has significant sensory issues and struggles with anxiety. He has extreme social anxiety when leaving his comfort zones (his house, his backyard, and his school). He will ask to go out to pools and parks, but refuses to get into the car due to anxiety.
Gabe attends a special school specifically for autism called Boundless. He bonds with his teachers and therapists, is interested in his peers but struggles to be social.Gabe’s severe anxiety causes him to have frequent self injurious behaviors. When anxious, he often will hit his hand to his head or his head to a hard object, this has led to several hospitalizations and assessments for head injury. Gabe wears a special helmet to help keep him safe and enjoys the pressures of a weighted blanket. Most of all, Gabe is an extremely fun little boy who loves to engage others, sing, and cause some mischief. He is very close to his dad and understands two languages, English and Swahili, which his dad speaks with him. He has even traveled out of the country a few times to visit family. However, these past two years his anxiety and self injurious behaviors have prevented him from going outside of his house and school.
Gabe loves dogs. His grandpa in WV is a professional dog trainer and has two big dogs at home. Gabe especially bonds with the dog named Beans, who he likes to play with and lay down with. When he is with a dog his anxiety decreases and he becomes very social and happy. We think a service dog can help him overcome social anxiety and participate in his community. The service dog can help him have the confidence to leave the house and try new things. Gabe loves the sensory input from cuddling or petting a dog. He would also benefit from the deep pressure the service dog would be trained to provide. Gabriel at times can elope from the yard and he is very fast! A service dog can be trained to help reduce eloping through tethering.
We are ready to welcome a service dog into our home as a new family member, and look forward to the future adventures.
You can also mail a check or money order to:
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids, 112 East Center Street, Berea, OH 44017
Please make a memo that your donation is for Gabriel