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Autism is a worldwide phenomenon that is taking us into a new world experience. In the past 27 years. Autism has taken us all into a new dimension of life as we know it. Autism has literally stunned, and changed our world. No matter what anyone thinks, the reality is that we are going to have to deal with what is happening on an individual, group, social, and world wide level.

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Dog Wish has been involved in training dogs for the disabled for 35 years, in training dogs for those with Autism for 15 years now, and have placed dogs with over 200 families as Autism Service dogs. These dogs have greatly increased their handler’s ability to enjoy their personal lives, and to function within the family, socially, and at school. Dog Wish is a National in the Effort to get Service Dogs in Public Schools, and has:

1. Placed dogs in Public Schools in over 20 States Nation Wide
2. Has a Program going with the California State Board of Education, Department of Developmental Disabilities to work with families through Regional Centers, and place Service dogs with Public School Special Needs Teachers.
3. Works with Regional Centers, etc., to help individual families with their particular needs.

What we expect from our Service Dogs is simply extraordinary. In order to qualify a dog as a Service dog, it must perform at least three functions that are vital to the handler. We have documented that ours do much more, (normally between 13 and 17 functions).

The following video is about a Dog Wish Autism Service Dog:

This video is about the Sakurai family, and their Dog Wish Service Dogs:

This is a copy of the Voice of America radio program:

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/58589/the-therapeutic-role-of-service-dogs-with-bob-taylor-of-dogwish

The following is a list documenting the affects our Service Dogs have on their handlers:

1. The first affect the dog has upon the handler is to balance their mental/emotional behaviors, such as “melt downs”. Our dogs are trained to respond to the electro magnetic energies projected, and specific smells being created by their handler. We have been able to document that the handlers of our Service Dogs who use to have “melt downs” every other or every third day, which would last from 1 to 4 hours before the child could resume normal activities, now had them once a week, and often the problem would last for 10 to 20 minutes, be much less severe, and much more controllable. This is because the Service Dog has had their mentality and metabolism altered, and counter balances the abnormal emotional responsiveness in their handler. In stores and restaurants, the affected person who was before uncontrollable or questionable, now will sit or stay with their Service Dog, and will respond to discipline and instruction much better, because of the dog. This can also be true of recipients who have Seizure or like disorders. Besides being able to detect and pre-alert to these conditions, the affect our dogs have on these people reducing and stopping these activities, is amazing

2. The Service Dogs, after bonding, will connect with their handler, and will alert if they are experiencing emotional problems. In one instance we documented that because of an alert from our dog, the parents in one family went to school themselves to find out that their child was left on the playground by themselves for over three hours, alone. The parent had to search with the Service Dog to find the child, and because it was trained for search it found him in a corner of the school, behind a building, by himself, crying. Further research found that this had become a common occurrence. Other times the dog began to alert, pace, and scratch at the door, and the parent found their child in the school office, in trouble. In this particular case the school has now supplied proper support for that boy. Our dogs can detect the smells and energies put out by their handlers, and have even gone through windows, doors, etc., to get to them.

3. In therapy sessions it has been documented that the child with autism who is normally about 22 to 25% cooperative and responsive by themselves, will be up to 95% responsive if their K9 is there. That is because they are much more relaxed, and emotionally controlled around the Service Dog. The Service Dog’s ability to connect with their handler is so strong that their presence, and the electro-magnetic connection between the Service Dog and the handler keeps the handler more balanced, less anxious.

4. The Service Dogs will immediately react to whatever is being projected. It is not abnormal for one of our trained Service Dogs to react to strangers (children or adults) that are experiencing trauma around them, and tell us they need help. Often this occurs regularly in social situations where the Service Dog meets people for the first time. Last year I introduced a dog into a public elementary school. As we entered one class the dog left their handler and went to sit by a girl who had broken her arm the day before. The Service Dog put her paw on the little girls chair and whined at her. No one but the Service Dog knew she had broken her arm, and the service Dog was telling us. This year I introduced a Service Dog into a day care for adults, and the first day the Service Dog alerted on 7 different people before they had seizures. Our Service Dogs are also known for reducing the amount of, and eliminating seizures in the lives of their handlers.

5. The Autism Society of America California Chapter did a survey in 2009 which documented that 57% of children with developmental disabilities were at that time growing up without having a single friend. Now, as the child handles the Service Dog they are projected into the social steam and people, their peers, who never desired contact or connection with them, are drawn to them. It changes their lives.

6. We have seen a tremendous enhancement in the quality of parent/child, relationships through the relationship with the Service Dog, especially father/child relationship, which often needs a focusing stimulus. Through the way the parent cares for, disciplines, and loves the Service Dog, the child will often open and become more responsive to the parent as well, following the Service Dog, and learn to accept intimacy and a stronger connection. 80% of men are affected in a negative way by having a disabled child. Through the Service Dog that parent will now become more function able with that child as they share dog experiences together. For many people this can be very powerful.

The picture on the right is of a client with Autism, sharing his Service Dog with a complete stranger. He walked up, introduced himself, and spoke with several families about his Service Dog. It was the first time in his life he had ever spoken with a stranger. His father, standing in the background, was blown away!

7. I have been in many homes with developmentally disabled people, and there was no sense of discipline. In many homes it is a major problem, because the child simply has a “melt down” and can’t accept the stress of discipline. However, as the child and parent work, training the Service Dog together, and the child sees how the Service Dog responds to the parent, they learn to accept discipline indirectly, and start accepting discipline, and doing chores around the home, just like their dog does. In many homes this is a major improvement. We work on this with every child.

8. The affected person usually uses the relationship with their Service Dog to either conquer or deal with their fears in a more confident and beneficial way. They feel empowered by the Service Dog to and through their new confidence engage socially, allow themselves to be more vulnerable, to try and be open to things they before would never have done.

9. Besides becoming more focused, the K9 is trained help keep the affected handler from eloping, and/or to find them on command. This last two years we have had several dogs that alerted when their handler tried to “sneak out”. The Service Dog would bark at them until they stopped. This is also true of handlers trying to climb over a fence. Their dog would “tell” on them. The Service Dog can be trained to NOT leave the property, and to stop the handler, if tethered to them, from leaving as well.

10. The Service Dog can also alert if the child is thinking of doing something they know is wrong. If a child starts to write on the wall with a crayon, elope out the front door or over the back fence, the dog will alert, because the child is projecting the “bad” signal to them.

11. Our Service Dogs are also mentally conditioned to ignore and be neutral to other distractions, (people and animals) and every dog we place has learned to give their handler at least 90% of their focus at all times. This is imperative for a Service Dog, and especially one whose primary function is to be alert to the behaviors of someone with a developmental disability.

12. Our Service Dogs can respond to non-verbal communication from their handlers, and also greatly motivate verbal communication as well, some times from individuals who have never spoken before. (Think about it, if you are training a dog to work with someone that is basically non-verbal, or has serious problems communicating verbally, and the dog doesn’t detect, understand, and respond to non-verbal communication, they should be considered worthless!) Our Service Dogs are trained to respond to the energies projected by the handler.

13. For the past several years we have worked with several families, teaching them to safely tether their child, or children, to our trained Service Dogs. Though this is a sensitive issue, with proper training it has saved several lives. Once the child accepts this conditioning, the family can use it to control their physical behaviors in public, and many times can do things they could never do before. This year one of our dogs have saved the life of their handler every month so far. I would consider that the basis for saying our program for tethering is a success!!

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OUR PROGRAM
• Our Dog Wish Service Dogs are are custom selected, trained, and function according to the need and desire of each individual recipient. Their performance is taylor’d according to your lifestyle and home environment, particular interests, and needs.

• Dog Wish Service Dogs are given the most comprehensive training you will find. (Very few people have any idea of the sensitive, complicated, and detailed work that it takes to produce each and every Dog Wish Service Dog we place.) The technology involved demands several fields of advanced dog training programs, combined and integrated, to produce each Service Dog.

• We have enjoyed unparalleled success with our scent detection program. We train every Service Dog to search out and find scented articles that are imprinted with their new handler’s scent. When we work the Service Dogs we do so wearing a garment that smells like their new handler. We have scented towels the Service Dogs rest and sleep on that smell like their handler. What an impact this has on the Service Dogs!  Search and rescue is now a commonplace occurrence for us. Pre-detection and alert is a matter-of-fact.  The dogs go to their new companion and handler already knowing them through their scent.

• Our program is created and designed to increase a balance in the left-brain, right-brain behaviors and functionality in the dog, the handler, and everyone involved with dog training. It helps create a neurological balance in the handler, which increases the potential for every good desire you have for that person. It is uniquely designed to work with the mind of someone on the Autistic Spectrum of disabilities.

Recently in putting together a program for a local family with a four-year-old boy, I asked them, as I do with all clients, to give me a list of every problem they were dealing with on a daily basis, that they wanted help with. Here’s the list:

PROBLEMS WITH LANDEN:

1. Diagnosed with Autism: His Neurologist diagnosed high functioning Autism. Genetic testing showed #8 chromosome doubled itself.
An MRI-SHOWED too much white brain matter, not grey showing improper brain development-his brain does not fill the brain cavity In his skull.
2. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (affects all four limbs-right side more).
3. On medication for Severe Seizures, (different types).
4. Wanders off
5. Intentionally runs from us, even when dangerous
6. Sleep Apnea
7. Occasional Seizures
8. Head bangs in bed to sleep
9. Has uncontrollable melt downs
10. Doesn’t like crowds
11. Has Asthma
12. Has reflux
13. Doesn’t eat regular food, on liquid diet
14. Hyperactive
15. Not completely potty trained
16. Weakness in both ankles
17. Weakness in both wrists
18. Runs everywhere, never walks
19. Gets angry very easy
20. Tantrums, emotionally unbalanced
21. Gets into everything
22. Developmental delays
23. Major sensory issues; sights, smells, sounds, energies
24. Anxiety
25. Bites nails
26. Picks at self, (lips, fingers, etc.)
27. Poor impulse control
28. No boundaries
29. Can’t self regulate
30. Poor social skills
31. Doesn’t like to be restrained
32. Climbs on everything
33. Throws things
34. Hits people
35. Bites
36. A.D.H.D.
37. O.C.D.

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Landon’s History, (written by Cory and Lisa Curtis)

Landon came to live with us at 4 ½ months, through the foster care system. He was our 11th foster child. He was just left in a crib for the first 4 months of his life, was droopy, couldn’t hold his own head up, or even smile. He was so sick that our first trip was right to the Dr., who referred us to a Pulmonary Specialist, who diagnosed him with asthma, allergies, and put him on meds for his reflux. He threw up constantly, held his hands in a fist, and just sat in his swing drooling.

At 1 year he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and an MRI revealed major delays. We were told he would most likely never walk, so he began physical therapy. He was now on pediasure instead of formula, after a Cookie Swallow Test showed that he had a pocket in his esophagus that would fill up, and then dump. He throws up all the time.

We made a family decision, which everyone supported, to adapt Landon. On November 4th 2010 Landon’s adoption was final. The County had a giant event where over 60 children were adopted in one day. We invited our whole family and close friends, and it was a joyous day.

At that time Landon was attending 7 therapies a week: 2 for Physical therapy; 1 for Occupational therapy, 2 for Feeding Therapy, 1 for Early start program, and 1 mommy and me class. Landon has had three surgeries already. Another MRI in the spring of 2011 showed his brain matter did not fill his skull, which was causing him to have seizures. Also, a new throat scan showed severe damage to his esophagus.

Landon started to crawl at 1 year old, and to walk at about 2 years old. At two he spoke his first word, “dada”. Landon started to trouble breaking while asleep, and a Sleep Study showed he had Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and the next revealed Sleep Apnea, which could increase as he gets older; it is a watch and wait thing, every night.. Right now we wake him if he stops breathing, or if his breathing sounds funny.

On November 15th, 2010 Landon began attending a Medically Fragile preschool, where he preschool in the morning, and therapies in the afternoon. In August of 2011 Landon started displaying behavioral problems in school, hitting, spitting, kicking, and being non-responsive to the teachers. So, back to the Neurologist, who diagnosed him with Autism.

At his school one day I saw a business card for a support group on the internet for mothers of children with Autism. While on face book I learned about Dog Wish. Bob Taylor at Dog Wish has many answers for us, and his training is a real blessing. His intelligent sensitivity and responsiveness to our family have helped us to relax, and his knowledgeable instruction is good for us all.

Landon’s Story (written by Cory and Lisa Curtis)

Hi, my name is Landon Scott Curtis, the newest son of Cory & Lisa Curtis.

I have been a member of this family since I was 4 months old. My adaption became official November 4th, 2010. At the age of 4, having been declared medically fragile, with 3 surgeries and more doctors’ visits to my 5 regularly seen Doctors, than I care to remember. Putting all that behind me, the latest one has discovered that I have Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Sleep Apnea, asthma, allergies, eating disorders, utero drug and alcohol exposure, gastro esophageal reflux, developmental delays, and am a genetic anomaly; whatever that is. Some days it is hard on me and my family, but we all stick together and love each other, and we know that God is with us in these struggles.

My mommy and daddy are working with Bob Taylor of Dog Wish.Org to get me a Service Dog to help with the numbers of challenges I face each day. Bob trains top quality Service Dogs at cost effective prices for families with children like me. The puppy that has been picked just for me is named Fluffy. She already likes me, and we have fun training together. It’s hard work, but will be worth it. I can’t wait until she gets to be with me all the time, and sleep in my room next to me.

And my God will supply all your needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

And now it’s my turn. I’m fluffy, a 10 month old, all German lines, German Shepherd.
My dad was the very first Certified Service Dog trained by Bob Taylor for A boy with Autism, licensed by the State of California. I have been chosen to become Landon’s Service Dog. He is an AWESOME kid, and I love him. I met Landon and my new family on December 20th, 2011.

My number one priority is to be a companion, and to protect my Landon, wherever he may go. With just the pressure of my paw on my boy, I will be able tohelp calm him down when he is going to have a meltdown. Landon’s doctor says he believes his “meltdowns” are a type of seizure, and not just a temper tantrum, but a complete overload of his mental systems. They can be triggered at any time, but especially in time of stress. Therefore, I have been trained to smell and feel these problems with Landon and I will be able to help change all that. Bob Taylor, my trainer, has trained me to be pre-seizure alert, and help prevent these problems for Landon. This will be beneficial for my Landon. Several of my brothers and sisters have helped their children to have 50% less meltdowns, simply by being there and speaking to them.

Some of the things I will help Landon overcome are: eloping or running away from his family in public places. I can alert him and his family if he stops breathing during the night due to his sleep apnea. I will keep him safe from things he might get into, protect him from strangers, calm his down in times of stress, help him focus at home and school, and make him feel safe and secure. With me there, Landon will be able to live a more normal and balanced life, as a four year old. We will go to school together, travel together, and experience life together. My favorite though will be to play with my boy in our backyard; fetch I hope. I am excited for the day when my boy gets to bring me to my new home.

“For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help; the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. Blessed be the Lord God, the GOD of Israel, who lone works wonders.” (Psalms 72:12 & 18)

RESULTS FOR LANDON CURTIS
The Curtis family found out about Dog Wish through their local Regional Center, where we have given seminars and talks on our program to train Service Dogs for those with Neurological Problems. We met, and introduced them to a dog that we felt would fit the profile for their son, and it was a “match”. “Fluffy was a very sensitive German Shepherd, about 10 months old, who was bred and raised in our kennel. It was easy to see that the dog was drawn to Landon, who really enjoyed her presence. The Curtis’s started coming out to work with their new Service Dog, introducing and exposing Landon to “Fluffy” at our facility.

Fluffy responded very well to their daughter Amy who immediately displayed the interest and ability to work with Fluffy. I was very excited to see her willingness to help train this dog for her younger brother. I introduced her to my daughter who was the same age, and had the two worked together, as Amanda taught her how to work with and handle Fluffy. They came out twice a week for about a month, when Fluffy decided it was time for a change. Fluffy decided that this family was hers, and she began to ignore us, and listen only to them. Fluffy would go to them off leash, and want to stay there. So, I told them to take her home.

The first night home Flufffy was staying in Landon’s room, when she started barking. Landon was thirsty, but nobody heard him call, so Fluffy alerted the family to come and help him. Fluffy watched over Landon inside the house, and in the yard. Wherever he went, so did Fluffy. She would lay and watch him play, and sometimes they played together.

About three weeks later, one night the family went to bed, and about an hour later Fluffy started to wine, and then bark. The family thought maybe she was barking at someone walking by their house, so they started to go back to sleep. Fluffy then grabbed the blanket on their bed and started to pull it off the bed. The parents got up and went to check Landon. Fluffy had noticed his irregular breathing, and when the Curtis’s check he started to seizure. Fluffy has continued to watch, detect, and alert to Landon. She calms him down, and helps him to maintain a healthier neurological balance, and shows a constant, vigilant concern for Landon. I asked them recently, after several months, how often Fluffy had detected, alerted, and helped stop a seizure or like condition with Landon. His mother Lesa looked at me like I was nutty, and then said, “Bob, she has never gone a day, or night, without doing it. She’s indispensable. We would never think of not having her around him ever.” She thought I just knew that. The Curtis’s are now on the Board of Directors for Dog Wish, and actively support us.

FROM BOB TAYLOR

Landon isn’t the only child Dog Wish is or has trained a dog for with these problems, we do it all the time. So much so that the Curtis’s have found others on the Internet with our Dog Wish Service Dogs that they have contacted and are becoming friends with, besides those they are meeting at the Dog Wish training facility. How can a dog be trained to handle all these day and night disabling problems? We’ve built a career doing just that! We are committed to helping the Curtis’s raise Landon, improve and enhance his life, and make a difference for these very brave, rare, courageous people. They are one of the over 100 families we help, who have kids with Autism.

In the past three months we have placed several dogs with children who have severe Autism disabilities, on the lower end of the Autistic Spectrum. These wonderful children came to our facility and we worked with them and their parents to instill the Dog Wish Experience in each case. We took them out socially, and helped the parents learn to use their trained dogs. They are ALL in School full time with their handlers, and the schools are ELATED to have them. They help everyone.

Our training is very comprehensive. We have just finished training two dogs for Mr. Boyd Bradshaw, a leading Psychologist, who is using the dogs with private schools, for his students with Developmental Disabilities.

HERE IS OUR RESPONSE TO EVERYONE WITH A NEED:

THE DOG WISH PROMISE

I have come to bring goodness:
Through The Life Force We Harness,
In Each Dog We Produce,
In Every Dog Wish Service Dog,
We Create!

Through The Power We Endue,
And The Abilities We Build,
By The Transformation We Channel,
And The Connection We Make Possible,
We Simply Bring Change:

From Chaos To Order,
From Hopelessness To Hope,
From Despair To Joyfulness,
From Doubt To Faith,
From Disability To Ability,
From Sickness To Health,
From Ignorance To Knowledge,
From Death to Life.

Bob Taylor 12-26-2011

Please feel free to contact Dog Wish at 760-662-3767, or email us at bob@dogwish.org.

A short additional comment:

At Dog Wish we take things on an individual basis, and every training course and dog is unique according to the needs and desires of each person. We realize that our business is critical, life and death, and life changing, and we take it seriously.

Feel free to call and speak with us, make an appointment to see our dogs and facility, and email at any time.

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