Friday, April 28, 2006
Griffin Loves Animals
Griffin absolutely adores animals. When he is around them it is like magic. His favorite animal is our cat "Pisgah" and of course he loves his service dog, "Abby". Griffin is an affectionate little guy with me and other people like my family but he is most affectionate with the animals. He is always giving big hugs to Pisgah and petting him so nicely. Here you can see the sheer joy on Griffin's face as he pets the horse. My mom is holding him and of course she is thrilled, as was I, that he enjoyed feeding the horses carrots and petting them. He is definately like his mommy because I have always loved animals ever since I can remember and have always had them in my life. I highly recommend , if you are able to do it, that any of you who have a child with autism that you consider getting a service dog or even just a pet of some kind because it can make a world of difference with your child's behavior. Before we got Abby, Griffin would bang his head all the time especially when we were out in public. He had many negetive behaviors that seemed to just disappear once Abby came along. Now, Abby goes with us everywhere and she wasn't even professionally trained. I trained her myself and she is absolutely awesome. I don't know about other states but in Alaska it is not necessary for a service dog to be trained professionally. All that matters is that the dog is well behaved in public and of course it is necessary for the dog to be gentle and to have never shown any signs of aggression or having been protective in any way. I know that I have probably written about Abby before but I just want everyone to know about how wonderful a service dog can be for a child/individual with autism. Griffin had speech today and he did okay . Lisa worked on sequencing which he is not quite ready for so mostly he observed her doing it herself. Then they worked on opposites and he did okay with that with a little help. Lisa got him to answer some "wh" questions such as: What goes here? and What else is green? etc.... She said that even though the sequencing is a bit advanced for him that it is good that he is getting exposed to them anyhow. Griffin got a case of the sillies for awhile which usually means that he needs a break, Lisa is really good at recognizing this and he recovered nicely after his break. Tomorrow, Griffin has O.T. with Gayle at the clinic and he had swimming on Tuesday which went really really well of course. Gayle is so good with him, she taught him to say"I'm jumping" so that she would know that he is about to jump off the ledge that is in the kid's swimming pool. Once he jumped without her knowing he was going to and he plunged under the water and caught them both by surprise. I think that it scared him just enough to help teach him a lesson but at the same time he had a smile on his face as he was coughing. Thanks a bunch Gayle and Lisa for all your hard work and dedication. We love ya!