Griffin Needs a Service Dog

Griffin Needs a Service Dog Griffin is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) when he was 2 and a hal

Today was school picture day. We didn’t know that Boomer was going to get a badge!
09/20/2023

Today was school picture day. We didn’t know that Boomer was going to get a badge!

Today is the first day of fourth grade for Griffin and Boomer!
08/07/2023

Today is the first day of fourth grade for Griffin and Boomer!

Thank you, Kirsten and Steve!
07/18/2023

Thank you, Kirsten and Steve!

07/14/2023
07/06/2023

Boomer and Jupiter are getting along great!

5 days of parent training starts tomorrow. Today we get to just hang out.

Hey, guys! We’re still working to raise the funds to get Griffin’s service dog. https://gofund.me/831b894cSadly, Odin wi...
02/18/2023

Hey, guys! We’re still working to raise the funds to get Griffin’s service dog.

https://gofund.me/831b894c

Sadly, Odin will not be Griffin’s dog. At the end of a training session, he was receiving a treat. At the same time, 2 off leash dogs ran up on Odin. There was a fight between the 3. None of the dogs were injured, but this event ended Odin’s future as an anchoring dog.

He’ll still be a service dog, it will just be in an environment without other dogs around and where he won’t be physically attached to a kid. We were devastated to get this news but very happy to hear that Odin was unhurt and will still be able to help people. And that if this was something that was going to happen, we were glad it was before we met Odin and got more attached to him.

Instead, Griffin will be receiving a dog named Boomer. Boomer is a little smaller than Odin, but is also a year younger. He is also a little less rowdy than Odin. His training is expected to be done at the end of May. Odin had been due to be delivered in January.

This has been a LONG road and Griffin needs a service dog more than ever. He’s been through multiple aides and is currently facing a manifestation hearing for his struggles with behaving and getting through the school day. He’s eloping at school multiple times a day.

Odin will be here December 4th and we’re on our last few days of fundraising. The final payment is due 10/31. https://go...
10/25/2022

Odin will be here December 4th and we’re on our last few days of fundraising. The final payment is due 10/31.

https://gofund.me/3524ba93

Please share our GoFundMe link. And thank you so much to everyone who has donated and shared. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you!

We’ve got some exciting news! Odin will be coming home on December 4th! Once he’s here, we will spend 2 weeks with his t...
10/18/2022

We’ve got some exciting news! Odin will be coming home on December 4th! Once he’s here, we will spend 2 weeks with his trainer, Steve, learning how to properly handle a service dog.

That gives us until the end of October to finish our fundraiser.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped get us to this point! Please share the link to Griffin’s GoFundMe.

Griffin is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) when he was 2… Becki Newberry needs your support for Griffin Needs a Service Dog

We’ve got some exciting news! Odin will be coming home on December 4th! Once he’s here, we will spend 2 weeks with his t...
10/18/2022

We’ve got some exciting news! Odin will be coming home on December 4th! Once he’s here, we will spend 2 weeks with his trainer, Steve, learning how to properly handle a service dog.

That gives us until the end of October to finish our fundraiser.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped get us to this point! Please share the link to Griffin’s GoFundMe.

Griffin is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) when he was 2… Becki Newberry needs your support for Griffin Needs a Service Dog

Griffin eloped at school today and again made it out the front doors. Every time a CCSD phone number pops up on my calle...
09/06/2022

Griffin eloped at school today and again made it out the front doors. Every time a CCSD phone number pops up on my caller ID, I have to wonder if this is it? Is this going to be the call where they tell us that they couldn’t stop him before it was too late? That he’s gone missing? Or been hit by a car? If today is the day our worst fears come true?

Please consider sharing or re-sharing the link to his GoFundMe so we can secure his service dog and help keep him safe.

Griffin is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) when he was 2… Becki Newberry needs your support for Griffin Needs a Service Dog

UPDATE TIME!As any parent can tell you, things don’t always go to plan or happen on schedule. This is especially true wh...
08/10/2022

UPDATE TIME!

As any parent can tell you, things don’t always go to plan or happen on schedule. This is especially true when it comes to parenting a kid with autism. We had 2 unexpected schedule changes this week.

The first has to do with Griffin’s aide at school. Since Griffin is currently unable to attend his private school for autistic kids (due to safety concerns around his elopement behaviors), Griffin is attending the same public school that he finished second grade at last school year. The benefit of public school is that they’re required to provide a 1:1 aide for Griffin during school hours. It’s not a perfect solution by any means, Griffin still eloped multiple times last school year, even with his aide in place.

The aide Griffin was assigned last year had no experience with autism. The principal informed us last year that they would be hiring a more experienced aide for Griffin this year. We assumed that meant that the new aide would be ready to the first day of school (yesterday). Unfortunately, that was not the case. The new aide has been hired but is still going through the background check and fingerprinting process. The school is unable to tell us how long that is going to take. In the meantime, Griffin’s aide from last year will be filling in.

The second was a misunderstanding of when Odin will finish his training. Back in October, we were told that Odin had 8 – 10 months of training time left to go. What I didn’t realize at that time was that the months of training time are calculated differently than calendar months. This is because once a dog has finished training and is being placed with their family, both the trainer and the director of the program spend 2 full weeks with the family in order to teach them how to work with a service dog and to make sure that they do everything possible to set them up for success. This means that a 30 day calendar month averages a total of 22 training days.

All of Odin’s active training hours are carefully logged and tracked. Based on the hours remaining in his training schedule, Odin is currently on track to finish his training and join our family in November or December of this year.

While it is disappointing that he won’t be ready as soon as we thought, it is comforting to know that the training program is extremely in depth and that training hours are carefully tracked. There are also a couple of upsides to the situation.

1. Since Odin will be joining us during the winter rather than moving to Vegas in the middle of the hottest part of the year, this will give him the chance to acclimate to our weather as it warms up next year.

2. This longer timeline also gives us a little more time to earn, save, and raise money to pay for Odin and his training.

We also received some new photos of Odin. He’s currently around 130ish pounds and a little over 20 months old. Enjoy the cuteness and please consider sharing our GoFundMe info to your social media!

https://gofund.me/3524ba93

Thank you!

07/25/2022

Hi, I’m Becki and I’d like to tell you a little bit about my son. Griffin is 7 years old and is autistic. He's an awesome kid. He’s highly gifted academically and loves to learn. He's funny, helpful, sweet, and kind. He's also very impulsive and has no fear. As his mom, that combination can be incredibly terrifying.

Griffin has a habit of eloping (especially at school) and has ended up in circumstances that could have been fatal. For those not familiar, elopement is when an autistic person unexpectedly runs or wanders off from their caregivers or a safe place.
About half of autistic kids elope, and 1 in 8 will eventually die during an elopement.

To help keep Griffin safe, we’re in the process of getting him a service dog named Odin, but we need your help. The training needed for this type of service dog costs around $30,000.
Please consider donating to Griffin’s GoFundMe and please share this video. More information is available on GoFundMe as well.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/griffin-needs-a-service-dog

Griffin’s Aunt Desirée designed a cute shirt to help raise funds for Griffin’s service dog.https://www.bonfire.com/a-ser...
02/20/2022

Griffin’s Aunt Desirée designed a cute shirt to help raise funds for Griffin’s service dog.

https://www.bonfire.com/a-service-dog-for-griffin/

Proceeds are for an Autism Anchoring Dog to keep him safe, & allow him to return to school. Griffin is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder...

10/30/2021

A huge reason Griffin needs an anchor dog is for his safety.

Consider the following statistics:

• 49% of autistic kids elope after age 4.
• 65% end up in situations where they’re at risk of a traffic accident.
• 24% are in danger of drowning.
• 1 out of 8 of eloping children will die
• The average age the general population can expect to live to is 72. For autistic people, the average age they can expect to live to is 36. This is due to the huge difference in rates of accidental death.
• Autistic children aged 14 years and younger are 40 times more likely to die from injury than the general pediatric population.
• Specifically, drowning accounts for 46% of all injury deaths among children with autism, which translates to 160 times the chance of dying from drowning compared to other children.

These numbers are terrifying, especially when you know that your son belongs to the group those statistics are for. Any time we leave our house with Griffin, we have to be hyper aware of any dangers. An anchor dog won’t replace adult supervision, but it will enhance it greatly. It will also help give the adults in Griffin’s life the opportunity to relax just a bit and just enjoy time spent with him without worry.

10/30/2021

https://gofund.me/3524ba93

Griffin is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) when he was 2 and a half. He's an awesome kid. Griffin is incredibly smart and loves to learn. He's funny, helpful, and sweet. He's also very impulsive and has no fear. That combination is common among autistic kids and can be incredibly terrifying.

Griffin has a habit of eloping and has ended up in circumstances that had the potential to become fatal. For those not familiar with ASD, elopement is the term used to describe when a person with ASD unexpectedly runs or wanders off from their caregivers or a safe location. A 2012 article published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 49% of autistic children attempt to elope at least once after age 4. 26% of those kids were missing long enough to cause serious concern. Of those that went missing, 65% were in danger of a traffic injury, and another 24% were in danger of drowning.

Griffin has been approved for a service dog from Autism Anchoring Dogs. AAD was founded by a mother whose own autistic 8 year old son eloped in 2006 and is still missing. The cost of an anchor dog through this program is currently around $30,000+, not including things like vehicle ramps, oversized beds, paw covers to keep their paws from burning on hot asphalt, etc. The amount seems high at first, but makes sense when you realize how much goes into training a service dog from AAD. Their dogs spend 2 YEARS receiving full time training to become life saving service animals. That amount also includes 2 weeks of in-person training for Griffin and our family to learn how to handle a service dog and learn all the commands needed for success.

The specific dog we're hoping to get for Griffin is a male Newfoundland. This dog has about 10 more months of training ahead of him, which is actually the shortest waiting time we've found. The $30,000 needed to get the dog is broken down into 3 payments. A $10,000 deposit will allow us to reserve this specific dog. Until we are able to make the deposit, the dog can potentially be selected by another family, which would extend our waiting time and the risk of Griffin eloping and ending up missing, hurt, or worse. For our family, time is of the essence.

Anchor dogs are tethered to their person by a leash connected to a special belt or harness worn by the child and also by a regular leash controlled by an adult handler. The leash between the anchor dog and their person is long enough to allow them some independence, while still remaining safe and reducing the anxiety of the parent/caretaker.

The basic idea is that when Griffin is out with his service dog, the dog can simply sit down and prevent him from going further than the leash will allow. To keep Griffin from winning this game of tug of war or causing injury to himself or the dog, the dog has to be big. REALLY big. Griffin's dog will be a Newfoundland. Male Newfies average between 130 and 150 lbs, making them one of the biggest and strongest dog breeds out there. Despite their size, the AKC lists a "sweet disposition " as the most important single characteristic of a Newfie.

The adults in his life do all that we can to keep him safe. But Griffin is like a mini ninja without a sense of danger. We don't want to potentially lose our son or have him end up hurt. As his parents, even a trip to the park or the grocery store is very stressful because he could bolt into traffic while in the parking lot or down an aisle and out of sight in a split second. For Griffin, it's annoying to have an adult hovering over him when he just wants to play with other kids. An anchor dog would let Griffin have some freedom and help reduce some of the anxiety we feel anytime we're in public.

His latest elopement was at his school. Griffin is currently enrolled in a private school for kids with ASD and other special needs. He ran from the lunchroom and made it out into the parking lot. School staffers were only able to catch up with him after he stopped running voluntarily. This prompted the school to require that he have a full time one-on-one aide or service dog with him at all times before he can return. Our health insurance won't cover any services for autism, including an aide or a service dog.

A service dog will help Griffin receive the best education available to him and also help keep him safe. It will give him independence and provide support and comfort as he navigates through a world that doesn't always understand him.

https://gofund.me/3524ba93

10/30/2021
10/30/2021
10/30/2021

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