Sebastian's Team Noah
Hi, my name is Maria and I want to tell you about my son Sebastian. He is nine right now and in 4th grade. He loves Minecraft, Terraria and YouTube videos about Minecraft and Terraria. His favorite character is a dog named Noah. All this sounds so, dare I say it, typical, but Sebastian is not typical. At the age of 2 he spoke only 2 words one of which was Maaaaaaaaaaa meaning mama. He screamed if he got a cat hair on his hand. The doctors diagnosed him with an unspecified speech disorder and sensory processing disorder and anxiety. In came speech therapists who called it apraxia, and physical therapists or was it occupational therapists who labeled it sensory integration disorder then schools called it unspecified developmental delay which in time and more doctors became pervasive developmental delay and now Autism. Sebastian isn’t the kind of kid who blows up and has a fit. He withdraws. He makes his world small by losing himself in his games or videos. For Sebastian the world can be very big and very everything. Often, even though his speech is much much better when he is overwhelmed he can’t talk much. I am telling you about my son because he needs to grow up but he lacks some fundamental building blocks that no amount of therapy has been able to give him. So he needs an aid. Heaven forbid he is lost because at 9 he still can’t tell you his full name address and phone number. He does not watch for cars. He may want to play, but only inside house or a fenced area issafe unless there is someone to watch him closely. He is nine and soon mommy hovering around will be hindering any form of social skills he is trying to develop, which are delayed as you can imagine. A skilled dog could carry his important info for him. The dog could watch for cars and help keep him from harm. The dog would be a constant in an ever-changing huge world. The dog could sense his anxiety early and prevent accidents or ease matters before Sebastian withdraws. Just like you I want my child to grow and develop the God given gifts he has, but Sebastian in a way is blind to some fundamental dangers ( cars and strangers) and afraid of harmless things like new places ( Sea Life) or breaks in his routine (the same bus driver driving a different bus because the regular bus needed maintence). Sebastian needs a trained guide and I know that for my son to reach his full potential it can’t always be mom. Thanks
Sebastian is in Cubs Scouts now, but still shows the signs of limited social interaction, we have a small pack of 6 boys and keeping him engaged with the pack is troublesome at times. He plays with the others but does not realize some of the social cues that the others are putting off. He prefers to interact with the Boy Scouts that he knows more. I am not sure if that is because he knows them better or they are doing really cool stuff. He also forgets to check for traffic in parking lots, at events, and even at restarants, unless reminded. He is the kid that suddenly darts into traffic like a deer, and we have to ask why, which shuts down Sebastian for a bit.
He is great with animals and it helps him focus and stay calm. He enjoys spending time with the cats at my house, and makes sure I am taking good care of them, but I know they can not protect him from the outside world he needs to be in. I work to increase his confidence and interactions with people, He still has trouble with simple "Hello" or "Nice to meet you" type interactions. I would like to see if the addition of a service dog would get him into the social self that I have seen a few times when he tells people about his pets or the animals we see.