NEW VIENNA — Ask 10-year-old Austin Roosa just about any trivia question about NBA basketball players and he will have the correct answer. Austin is a very sweet and extremely intelligent boy who has been diagnosed with autism, severe anxiety, and sensory processing disorder.
Because of those conditions, Austin needs a lot of support while navigating his overwhelming world. His parents, Amy and Andy Roosa, are seeking an autism assistance dog to help Austin in his daily life.
“Austin is currently home-schooled because his social anxiety is too high to continue in traditional public school. Having a service dog by his side will be the perfect solution for him to be able to cope in an over-stimulating environment that is his everyday surroundings,” said Amy.
Austin’s dog will be trained in behavior disruption and tethering. His dog will be trained to assist during meltdowns to help comfort and ease emotional situations that occur. The dog will add greatly to Austin’s coping mechanisms and help him by offering sensory regulation, a means of calming his body.
The family’s hope is that the dog will also be a soothing influence while Austin sleeps, as well as helping him manage changes in routine and changes in environment.
Social anxiety is a huge hurdle for Austin that renders communication to a complete halt. Given a service dog and a buddy in life to provide security in social situations will ease his anxiety, while over time, gently exposing him to opportunities to be social.
Austin has applied and been approved through 4 Paws for Ability to receive an Autism Assistance Dog. The cost of training a dog is a minimum of $40,000. Each family seeking a service dog is asked to raise $17,000.
Once those funds are raised, his family will be placed into a 12-day training class to lean how to work with the dog trained specifically for Austin.
The family is hoping the community can rally around Austin to get him the help he needs.
To donate by credit card, please visit bit.ly/2GZOfqN
To donate by check: Make check out to 4 Paws for Ability with Austin Roosa’s name on the memo line, and mail to 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of T. Austin Roosa, 253 Dayton Avenue, Xenia, OH 45385.
You can also make an online donation by going to the website www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now . Include Austin’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Or, you can also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at 937-374-0385 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST on weekdays.