Residents of Hackettstown, New Jersey are raising money for a local, 3-year-old boy with autism in need of a service dog.
The boy, Oliver Dicks, has struggled with health complications since birth- autism, verbal apraxia, low tone muscle tension, poor motor planning, sensory processing disorder and seizures.
Oliver’s mother, Kerri Dicks, hopes that a service dog with help Oliver’s motor skills and self-confidence. She also says that a dog could help warn of an oncoming seizure by learning the boy’s behavior.
“For Oliver, a service dog would help him with walking, running, distinguishing depth of steps up and down as well as comfort him and help regulate mood swings and self harming behaviors,” said Kerri Dicks.
As of now, 68 donations have been made reaching over $4,700. The family needs $6,000 in order to reach their goal. With this money, the family would buy aLabrador-a dog specialists say could meet Oliver’s needs- as well as training. Excess funds would cover vet bills, food and dog care.
“Oliver fought so hard to live his life and now his family is fighting to make it the best life it can be,” Kerri Dicks said. “Oliver is now almost 4 and most people who meet him have no idea what he has been through or what he has had to overcome. He is truly an amazing little man who inspires all who know him.”
For more information on the benefits of animal therapy, read here: http://blog.hear-our-voices.org/2013/11/19/heeling-autism/