Dog for Damian
Organized by: Becky Logan
Damian Logan is an 8 year old boy diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A service dog specially trained for autism will be necessary for him to have a better quality of life. He is diagnosed with high functioning autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, conduct disorder and depression. He struggled through early childhood education and kindergarten without knowing what was causing issues for him. He was diagnosed by a neuropsychologist at 7. He does well when around one or two people he’s familiar with, but when in larger groups such as school and in public he gets overloaded by sensory input. He is sensitive to sounds, touch and smell. One of the ways children with ASD cope is to bolt, essentially trying to get away from the overwhelming sensations around them. The urge to bolt is a fight or flight response and is very dangerous since it’s so unpredictable. Damian’s running away has been going on since he first started walking. If you take your eyes off him for just a second he may bolt and has a tendency to hide making him incredibly hard to find. He doesn’t comprehend the dangers around him during these times and has had police officers called to retrieve him due to safety. He has run from adults while at school, also when with relatives while out in public. Damian lives in Humboldt and his parents are Barney and Becky. He spends summers and holidays in Slayton with his Grandma Renee and Aunt Tammy. Damian enjoys spending time with his cousins Zoey, Tatyana & Greg while is in Slayton. He loves animals and spends hours playing with his grandma’s cats. He spends his time playing video games and learning trivia facts. He also enjoys spending time with his cousins Jacob in Sioux Falls and Issac in Seattle. Specially trained service dogs are trained to help autistic people in many different ways. Below is a list of some of the symptoms Damian has and how a service dog will be able to help him with it. How Service Dogs are Trained to Respond Symptom Service Dog Response Impulsive Running Will Retrieve Child To Parent Self Harming Will Interrupt Behavior Mood Swings Will Crawl Onto Lap and Calm Child Night Awakenings Will Alert Parents By Barking Social Isolation Focus Shifts To Dog Service dogs are able to be there constantly and are allowed in schools, therapies and any other place Damian would go. Damian has struggled throughout his life trying to cope while in daycare and school. There are things he isn’t able to do like spending time at a friend’s without his parents, summer camps and sleepovers. We haven’t been able to continue bringing him to church. His Grandpa in Washington wants him to come for an extended trip, but due to his higher needs it wouldn’t be possible. We have tried youth centers and clubs, but due to the bolting and mood swings they have had to let us know until the unsafe behavior stops they couldn’t take him because they didn’t believe they could keep him safe. Community activities for kid’s his age mean he will be the only one with a parent there or he won’t be able to participate. Numerous parent testimonials and studies have shown the positive impact service dogs provide to children with autism. A service dog will be a constant companion to him and may allow him to be able to do some of the things a typical child his age does. As he gets older he will gain independence with the help of a service dog, making it possible for him to develop lasting friendships and have a better quality of life. Damian has been accepted as a recipient of an amazing service dog from Wilderwood Service Dogs and his family has a year to come up with $14,000. This is one of the lowest prices for these highly trained dogs. Will you help us get closer to our need of $14,000 by donating? Your donations are truly appreciated!