In October of 2011, Aaron Scott Westerdale II, Scotty, was diagnosed with Autism. Although he works more than 30 hours a week with therapists, Scotty continues to function socially and verbally at approximately the level of a 12-18 month old. Scotty, is sensory seeking, making him especially drawn to water and fast moving objects, and he has no fear for his own safety. Scotty is a runner, and does not answer to verbal commands and does not respond to his own name. As Scotty gets older, the outside world becomes a more dangerous and frightening place for him, for this reason, we have decided to have an autism service dog specially trained for him, by Wilderwood Service Dogs of Maryville, TN. Please help us, as we raise the money needed to bring Scotty’s service animal to live with him here in Madison. We need to raise $12,000 to cover the training of Scotty’s dog and $3000-$4000 to cover the cost of the trainer coming to Madison for his dog’s last week of training with Scotty and family. Any money raised beyond what is needed for Scotty’s dog will go toward another child’s dog from Wilderwood.
Wilderwood Service Dogs
Wilderwood has begun training a service dog for Scotty. Please check back for updates about Scotty, his service animal, and our fundraising efforts.
Everything we have found out about Wilderwood is very positive. They have been an accredited Better Business Bureau business since 2008. They publish there success rate. They only attempt to place dogs they feel are going to work. If you have problems with the dog you receive from them, they will provide extra support and if that does not work out they will train another dog and attempt placement again. Their board of directors consists of a number of medical professionals, including their founder who is a psychiatric nurse. The organization has done research and presented a paper about the effects of service animals on the behavior of children with autism. Extreme Makeover Home Edition worked with Wilderwood to get a child with autism on their show a service dog. If you would like to check them out, you can click here for their website.
Thank you for your support.