Many of you know us and have followed along with Havens journey. Some of you
Life with Haven has been a rollercoaster from the start.
Around 18 months Haven began to rapidly go downhill. She started to lose
some of her speech, have extremely violent meltdowns, was inconsolable
frequently. It was hard to go in public with her. The days just kept getting
harder and harder. At 18 months Haven began the process of getting her Autism
Diagnosis as well as Speech Therapy, Developmental Therapy, and Occupational
Therapy. In the midst of receiving her Autism Diagnosis she was diagnosed with
Chiari Malformation of the Brain. Haven underwent Brain Surgery at just 2 years
old. Since then Haven has had countless Surgeries and Procedures. She has had a
couple horrible battles with Staph Scalded Skin Syndrome, one time we almost didn’t
get to keep her. Havens’ current diagnosis have her living in Chronic Pain. The
Chronic pain coupled with her Autism makes for extremely hard days and nights.
Her meltdowns are frequent and long lasting. When she is in so much pain, she
is unable to using her coping skills we have worked so hard to teach her over
Along with the increase in meltdowns and pain Haven has begun to struggle
more at school because of her issues. Many days she does not make it through
the day because of her pain and how overwhelming parts of school are. Most days
I have to go into the school to give Haven additional medication for her pain.
Haven goes to the sensory room daily, sometimes multiple times a day. A lot of
the days as soon as she gets in the car she completely loses it as she tries so
hard to keep it together at school all day long.
Haven’s current list of Diagnosis are Autism, ADHD, PTSD, Chiari
Malformation of the Brain, Dysphagia, Encopresis, Migraines, TICS, Sensory
Processing Disorder, Cervical Dystonia, Anemia, Restless Sleeping. She takes a variety
of seizure medication, pain medication, muscle relaxers, migraine and sleep
medications daily. She sees specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Riley’s
Children’s Hospital. In the next month alone Haven will undergo Multiple
Procedures and Surgeries, as well as appointments with her Specialists.
Hospital Days are very hard on Haven and stressful for us both. Haven has PTSD
from so many medical interventions early on. She is always terrified and
extremely combative, plus the long drives are very hard on her body.
Many have asked why a service dog? What will a service dog do to improve Haven’s life? Service Dogs for
Children with Autism act as constant companions to children to help them improve
social interactions and relationships, expand verbal and nonverbal
communication, teach life skills, increase interest in activities and decrease
stress within the family. Haven’s dog will be a full service dog, not a therapy
or emotional support dog. It will be able to go any and everywhere with her. It
will be one hundred percent trained to Haven’s needs. When she is having
anxiety or a panic attack it will apply compressions to her body. It will
accompany us to doctors appointments and help to keep Haven calm during her
appointments and procedures. Eventually it will go to school with her and help
her navigate through her everyday struggles (ie lunch, recess, transitions,
changes in routine and social situations) In addition to helping Haven, the dog
will help all of us. It is alot on Mia and I dealing with the daily highs and
lows of Haven and her dog would offer some relief, support, and respite for all
This is not something we have come to lightly. I have prayed and prayed and
researched until my head spins. As Haven continues to regress, and things keep getting worse, I feel
within my momma heart and gut that this is our next step to helping Haven live
a happier and healthier life and to continue to reach her full potential.
Ways to donate
Gofundme (Does take fees): https://gofund.me/2e03f24f
If you are unable to donate, sharing our cause is a huge help.
Thank you to all who have supported and encouraged us over the years.