Hi there, We are the Robinson Family! My name is Delinda and I live in Southern NH with my husband, Chad, our almost seven-year-old son, Landon, and our almost-four-year-old twins, Kali and Kinsley. I work as a Realtor in NH and MA and Chad works in the hospitality business.
Our lives have been a whirlwind over the past four years. We were over the moon excited when we found out our identical twin girls were on the way and felt so blessed when our family was complete. However, about a year later we started noticing some developmental delays in our girls that raised some red flags. After many doctors’ appointments and testing, we found out our little girls were on the Autism spectrum.
While we were processing this diagnosis for the girls and considering how this affects the future of our family, we began seeing similar signs in Landon, as well. After pursuing our concerns with medical specialists, we learned he also has Autism and is still undergoing further testing to better understand his needs.
Here is where our multiple challenges began as we started to realize that each of our kids would all have very different needs as being on the spectrum can mean so many things. Due to these challenges things that might come as simple daily tasks like attending birthday parties, going grocery shopping, taking kids to the park, etc. All proved to be difficult for our family due to the limitations that Autism has placed on the kid's abilities to communicate & function safely. For a few years now, Chad and I have been searching for a solution to keep our children safe while also ensuring that they get to experience all the joys of childhood that we do not want them to miss out on! After tons of research, we have discovered the benefits of service dogs for families like ours.
According to a resource providing research on the benefits of these animals, “Service dogs are well-trained companions that improve the lives of those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders & disabilities. They have proven to be an asset to children diagnosed with autism and their families. These dogs provide a variety of benefits from influencing social skills to offering additional safety measures. These dogs are faithful companions that assist these children and families with activities of daily living as well as increasing the safety of the child and reducing the stress levels for families.
Some of the added benefits are:
Increased Social Interaction
Autism service dogs have been proven to improve social skills and social interaction for many children affected by autism. These dogs are naturally interesting which often draws the attention of the autistic child as well as others.
Autism service dogs can provide independence by allowing the child to walk with the dog as opposed to constantly holding the hand of a parent or adult. These highly skilled dogs can assist the child while under the direction of the adult. Many children may eventually be capable of handling the dog as well and are less likely to have elopement episodes.
Children with autism are often noticed to have an increase in vocabulary after being paired with a service dog. The children seem to be more comfortable speaking with the dog which transfers to more verbal interaction with people.
Improved Quality of Sleep
Autism service dogs provide a certain level of comfort that can often improve a child’s ability to sleep more throughout the night.
An Overall Calmer Environment
When performing everyday tasks, children feel less pressure working with a dog as opposed to their peers. The tactile experience of having a dog as a companion has also been proven to provide calming effects. Autistic children who work with dogs have been documented to feel less anger and experience fewer acts of aggression compared to the time before receiving an autism service dog.”
Adding a service dog to our family would benefit our lives in so many ways, and will help us to help our children. Chad and I both work full-time, but fulfilling this cost on our own has proved to be unrealistic due to the high cost of specialty training. We have always been the type of people to say “we can figure it out on our own”, but we know this is too steep for us to do on our own. We are kindly asking for any donation you may have to make this dream a reality for our family. We are so thankful to each of you who have helped us to reach our goal so far & well wishes and love!
We are offering many options for donations, depending on preferences and please you have any questions, feel free to reach out.
We look forward to sharing the newest furry member of our family with you all very soon!
Landon, Kali, Kinsley, Delinda & Chad