A Mom Blog Social Network
Again, this Bloggy Love Launch is a little different...
Meet Thor Blocksidge.
Thor is an active, sweet, 2 1/2 year old boy who lives with his Mom in Quesnel, BC (Canada)...but Thor isn’t like other typical 2 1/2 year old boys; though he loves playing outside - he hates to get dirty. He loves blowing bubbles, but doesn’t like them to get too close. His favorite is playing with cars and dinosaurs...but make sure they are in a perfect line or you’re in for a lot of tears.
On April 14th, 2011 Thor was diagnosed with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Extreme Anxiety; he leads a life apart from others his age.
Autism is a neurological disorder that is more and more heard of, yet still widely misunderstood. Autism affects the areas of the brain controlling language, social interaction, and creative and abstract thinking.
In addition, his brain has difficulty processing the sensory information that he perceives. Many times sights, sounds, smells, and touch can overwhelm him and even be painful. This usually leads to outbursts and a desire to flee the situation. Every moment of every day Thor fights against his natural tendencies to be afraid, anxious, or overwhelmed.
Thor’s senses are constantly inundated by the sights, smells, and sounds around him. He is only semi-verbal and does not respond to strangers or to his name being called if he were to wander or hide.
There are many issues that arise from Thor’s disabilities that make living each day difficult for Thor and his mother (a single parent). He must have his hand held constantly or be on a toddler “leash,” because his severe anxiety causes him to run away and hide even when out in public. He also self injures - hitting, slapping, pinching himself and even banging his head on hard surfaces.
Thor is also a loving child and has an infectious laugh. His family strives every day to help him overcome the many obstacles he faces. While researching the potential ways to assist Thor, his mother became aware of the benefits an Autism Service Dog could provide and found an organization called 4 Paws For Ability in Ohio. This is a non-profit agency that places trained service dogs with children with a wide range of disabilities. An Autism Service Dog would accompany Thor and his mother everywhere, acting as a safe guard, by having Thor tethered to the dog with a special harness.
Autism service dogs are also trained to comfort during melt downs,interrupt inappropriate repetitive or self-injurious behaviors, and provide comfort and companionship. Thor has been approved to receive an Autism service dog; 4 Paws for Ability eliminates a long waiting list by allowing their clients’ family, friends, and community to raise $13,000 to help cover some of the cost of extensive training service dogs require.
In Thor's particular case the dog would also be trained in Search and Rescue, giving his mother an extra pair of eyes and a keen sense of smell to help locate her son when he wanders and hides.
The 4 Paws for Ability website states, “We have discovered a magic that exists between children and dogs, a magic that can become a life-saving miracle for a child paired with one of our Autism Assistance Dogs.” You can help bring some magic to Thor’s life by making a tax deductible donation to 4 Paws for Ability in Thor’s name. Every donation helps and no donation amount is too small!
*CANADIAN DONORS: your donations are not tax deductable unless you have US-sourced income.
Visit www.paws4thor.com for more information about Thor, to find out how you can donate online, and to read updates on this little boy’s journey to find a helping paw.
Donations (US Funds Cheque/Money Order)
can also be mailed to:
4 Paws for Ability, Inc.
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, OH 45385
(Please include “In Honor of Thor Blocksidge” on the memo line)