Help Carter Get an Autism Service Dog

Help Carter get an autism service dogBy Markeeta Gillenwater (Carter’s Mom)

Help Carter

April 10, 2010 Carter Miles was born. He refused to eat and only wanted to sleep. After 3 days in the hospital he finally got to come home. On April 17 we moved 3 ½ hours home to Southwest Virginia to be closer to family. Not long after that Carter became colicky, he would stay awake for hours, only stopping his crying to eat or listen to music. He has loved music since the day he was born. During those weeks I would sing him the alphabet or play him Sesame Street songs and Bon Jovi to calm him. At around nine months Carter started say “dada” at that same time he started having ear infections. Over the next twelve months Carter had twelve ear infections. In March 2011 we found out Carter was going to be a big brother. At Carter’s one year appointment we noticed he was a little behind developmentally. In July at 15 months old Carter finally started walking, but had stopped using his only word, “dada”. In November his little sister was born. At his two year appointment in April the doctor recommended tubes in his ears and speech screening.  We planned a visit to the ENT and his tubes were scheduled for August 2012.  In August I finally agreed to speech screening and we entered the Early Intervention program. Carter qualified for both speech and occupational therapy services. In February 2013 Carter entered an ABA preschool program, usually reserved for children with a diagnosis of autism. We also scheduled an appointment with a behavioral psychologist. In June 2013 Carter was officially diagnosed with autism. In November 2013 Carter began collapsing to his right side frequently. After multiple trips to the emergency room, regular doctor, an EEG, and a MRI it was confirmed he was having seizures and we were sent to a neurologists. In January 2014 the neurologist told us Carter was most likely suffering from seizures and started him on a medication. The medication began cutting down the episodes and until his most recent growth spurt had cut them out completely. Carter is a sweet, loving little boy. He is so affectionate and gives hugs and kisses all the time. He struggles with communicating with us and gets very frustrated when we don’t understand. This causes him to have meltdowns. His meltdowns include screaming, crashing into walls and furniture, pinching, and biting. These behaviors are directed at himself, his sister, or anyone else in the area when it starts. He has made a lot of progress and he is up to around 30 words, including singing the alphabet and counting to 15. He is in speech, occupational therapy, ABA therapy, and music therapy during the week. He loves Sesame Street, books, and puzzles. He loves to run and play outside. We want a dog for Carter to help with several things. The biggest most important thing is when Carter runs he has no fear or sense of danger. There have been several occasions he has gotten away from me and come close to danger, such as traffic, barbed wire fencing, or drop off. We fear him being hurt or lost. A dog would help to keep him with us and be able to track him if he were to be lost. The second reason is to help calm aggression, especially toward his little sister, whom he could seriously injure without realizing it. The last reason we want a dog for Carter is to alert us when he has a seizure. As he grows so can his seizures in both number and severity, many of these happen at night when no one is with him. Please consider helping my little boy earn some safety and security. Supporting Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers you are helping my family and others have a little peace in a chaotic life. Help Carter


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