Thursday, 20 October 2016

Update on Service Dog (Sort of)

I know a lot of you have been wondering what's going on with Alex's service dog.  We had initially been told that we would likely receive the dog in the spring or fall of 2016.  Well, the fall training for 2016 is over and we were not called in for it.

National Service Dog's website shows that they are no longer accepting applications for autism service dogs and that families who have applied should expect to wait 2 to 3 years.  

I've gotten unofficial confirmation that Alex is still on the approved list and that it will likely be another year before his name comes up for a dog.  However, there are still no guarantees for anything.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, it is reassuring to have some kind of response, even an unofficial one.  On the other, I really need to find some alternatives to help Alex.  I can't count on this latest estimate being accurate and lose another year or two in waiting.  I'm just not sure what alternatives to look at.

We were hoping the dog would be a tool to provide more independence for him.  There's not really a substitute for this, we'll just have to continue to supervise.

The dog would provide a visual signal that Alex is different, cutting down on confrontations.  Again, not a lot of good alternatives.

Alex is lonely and could use a friend, but isn't socially up to making them.  This is the real key for why we wanted the dog, and is still a difficult option.  We've done the arranged "playdate" thing and it doesn't work out.  I'll have to do some more thinking and see if I can come up with a new set of ideas.

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