Jeremiah is a loving and kind big brother and son, artistically creative, loves all things superheroes, and is a hard worker who is eager to please his teachers, therapists, and parents. He loves to get hugs from his younger sister, spends time drawing and making art, and pretends to be batman! He is also a cub scout and takes Chinese lessons.
Jeremiah had frequent tantrums that lasted for long periods of time and nothing seemed to soothe him. Although he was developing speech, it was slow in comparison to his peers. Jeremiah also had great difficulty following directions, rarely slept, suffered from separation anxiety, and never seemed to slow down. He engaged in repetitive behaviors and speech and lacked the skills to socially engage with his peers appropriately. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 2 with accompanying Language Impairment when he was three years old. He also has an additional diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined type. He has ongoing GI issues and PICA. Fortunately, we have had a great team of therapists and supports to see him through this journey.
Despite these challenges, Jeremiah perseveres and refuses to give up. He does intensive therapy both at school and privately like a champ. He spends a lot of time in therapy, and works tirelessly to succeed. He has received speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA therapy since his diagnosis. He also receives vision therapy to help with convergence insufficiency. Since he was diagnosed, he has moved from being in a specialized school for children with autism to being in a typical classroom with an aide and supports.
A service dog will help Jeremiah with sensory overload and worry. Sometimes sounds, sights, and the pace of life is too much for Jeremiah and he needs a friend to help him through. Jeremiah is also impatient at times and needs a companion to help him wait for the good things in life. Since COVID-19, Jeremiah has not slept in his own bed despite our best efforts and recommendations we’ve followed from his ABA therapist. A dog will be a comfort for him at night and ease his separation anxiety. Jeremiah regularly loses things and has difficulty with completing tasks independently around the house—a service dog will help him complete tasks that seem overwhelming to him and with daily routines. Life is scary at times for Jeremiah—simple things like bugs make him afraid to go outside, alongside his intolerance to heat. Although the dog can’t help with the heat, it can put him at ease to go outside and enjoy life more. A service dog will also help redirect him from eating non-food items and chewing on his fingers. Additionally, a service dog is someone he can read to in order to keep him on grade level in reading and redirect his attention to his school work.
Best of all—a service dog will be a great companion for Jeremiah because he LOVES animals. We already have Lady Spinner (a bunny), Merlin (a cat), Faith (our non-service family dog), and goldfish. Someday we hope Jeremiah will pursue a field in the sciences with animals.
Thank you for the support of our son as we fight and win our daily battles in Autism! With our new partners on our team through W.A.G.S. for 4 Kids and your support, we are confident Jeremiah will continue to grow!