Child with autism receives service dog with the help of donations – w/video

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Cement City, Mich. — A young boy with autism from Jackson County finally received his service dog through the help of donations from the community. Four-year-old Sampson Morris now enjoys the company of a golden doodle dog named Teddy, more than one year after his family started a mission to get him a service dog of his own. According to his mom, Stephani Morris:

“When he is having a hard time, Teddy will usually be able to pick up on that and help him through that process.”

Teddy came to Cement City two months ago. A highly-trained service dog, he helps Sam deal with autism, giving round-the-clock care which includes keeping him from running off and calming him down by giving him deep pressure hugs. Sam’s mom told:

“You notice an overall calmness that we didn’t have before.”

“He’s definitely calm, he uses his words more, he works through things more.”

Sam, who used to have meltdowns every 20 minutes, can now keep calm for four to five hours on end. His therapist, Sarah Johnson of the Comprehensive Speech and Therapy Center in Jackson, said that Sam has notably been making incredible progress. Teddy is set to join Sam as he heads to school at Lincoln Head Start this fall, and things should be easier for the young boy— who’s always had problems being in public— now that he has a service dog to help him. His mom told:

“It gives Sam a chance to you know basically rub something, rub his fur or give him a hug or you know something like that to ground his senses.”

Service dogs like Teddy are useful in helping children with autism deal with everyday things, but they don’t come cheap. It cost over $10,000 for Teddy to get into training and finally be transported to Cement City to be with Sam, but the good news is, autism therapy and services are covered for children aged 18 months to five years old in Michigan. Source: Haley Nelson: Local Boy with Autism Bonds with Service Dog