Community Pulls Together To Help Autistic Boy Get A Service Dog
In Woodstock, Georgia, the community pulls together at times for all the right reasons. This was recently the case when Casey Dasher came to the community with a problem. Her five-year-old son, Ollie, has autism.
She was asking her neighbors and others in the community to help with purchasing a service dog. Not only did they come through, they did so with flying colors, raising over $16,000 through a Gofundme page.
Ollie’s mom went on to the Facebook group, A Dog for Ollie, to thank everyone who has joined in the journey. She said: “They say ‘it takes an army’ and you are all part of Ollie’s army!”
According to Ollie’s mother, he is a loving child full of laughter but he is nonverbal and struggles with regulation. According to some research, both children and adults with autism may be able to benefit from a service dog. Those animals provide comfort, along with physical safety and security.
His mother posted on their official Gofundme page that the dog would be trained specifically to meet the needs of her son and to help him stay “safe, calm and regulated.” She feels that they have set a fair price for the dog but if the money goes further than expected, it will be put toward veterinarian bills, vaccinations, grooming, and spaying or neutering the dog. She also says that some specialized training could be added.
Ollie’s family is taking the initiative along with the Gofundme page to earn additional money through Shoes with Heart. That organization helps people to raise money by collecting gently worn or new shoes. They pay by the pound directly into the fund for the service dog.
“Shoes can come in all shapes, colors, sizes, men’s, women’s, kids, babies, even sports shoes. So long as they are still usable, no holes, not wet, and have no mold or flapping mouth soles coming off,” Casey said.
More than 8000 pairs of shoes have been collected so far by Casey and her son.