Nelson is a 12 year boy who suffers from autism, epilepsy and encephalopathy. He goes to school at McGuffey Sixth Grade Center where he deals with balance problems, a lack of depth perception, and low motor skills, in addition to suffering from seizures. He can take medication for the seizures but it makes him quite irritable. He will always need care.
Many children like Nelson have been blessed with, and benefited from the assistance of a specially trained dog who can sense a seizure coming and alert help. Nelson’s mother Donna Martin would love to be able to provide this gift for her son. After much research she has found that the non profit organization 4 Paws for Ability works to meet the needs of children like Nelson suffering from seizures by providing them with dog companions. For a child like Nelson, a dog could literally be a life saver because he has seizures in his sleep. And it could provide a little peace of mind for his family who is constantly on guard.
These dogs are also able to interrupt Nelson’s repetitive behaviors and hand-flapping, allowing for a substantially more peaceful home situation. As well, they can alert others if their person wanders off and prevent harm from coming to them. For many, the addition of a dog with these skills is life changing, for the child and their family. “It would be like his own search and rescue dog,” Martin said.
The cost of a dog like this is about $13,000. Thanks to a Medicaid program Martin can stay home from work when necessary to look after Nelson, but as he gets older care becomes even more challenging, and she is trying to raise funds to be able to give Nelson this great gift of a little bit of independence in his life. For more information go to 4 Paws for Ability.