LUKE IS ASKING FOR A SERVICE DOG. It is his idea and when you meet him you might wonder why. After all, he looks and sounds normal - like any other 10-year-old boy or girl - but he does not understand and navigate life the way you and I do…and he may never. Luke has a form of Autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. What this means in his case is that he is very literal and does not understand innuendo, subtle humor or even social cues that you and I take for granted. At times Luke may appear rude, gauche, arrogant and has melt-downs when frustrated. Physically he does not have the fine motor skills to write his name, tie his shoes, button his shirt or zip his coat. Luke knows he is different than other kids and is very frustrated by all of this. He is very good at reading and vocabulary, and quite good at math but when he can’t write it down or tell the main idea in a story he first gets anxious, then sad, then angry. In Luke, this manifests itself in inappropriate behaviors such as bad language, ill-timed jokes or total melt-downs. Other kids know how to “push his buttons” and Luke feels like he has been bullied since kindergarten so these days he is quick to fight back. In his own words, Luke says, “A service dog would help me function better in life by helping me to control my anxiety and anger.”
Since applying for a service dog for Luke through Paws 4 Autism we have started fostering a puppy. I sometimes take him to school when I pick Luke up in the afternoons. Luke is very proud to tell his friends about the puppy and it is the first natural smile I have seen on his face since I can remember.
I hope you will consider a gift to “Luke’s Blessing.” No amount is too small. The cost of a service dog is $36,000.00. God bless Paws 4 Autism for covering $18,000.00. Luke is raising the other half. He has started by selling baked goods at school and is putting any money he can find into his fund. We are thankful for anything you can give to “Luke’s Blessing,” his canine friend that will be with him through the rest of his school years to help curb his anxiety frustrations and anger. Thank you for your generosity and most of all for your love and compassion.