Special Canines transform the lives of children with Autism



    MONTREAL, le 14 fév. /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec families of children with
Autism will soon benefit from the permanent placement of Assistance Canines in
their homes. The newly created PACCK Foundation places specially trained dogs
into homes of children with Autism - helping to accelerate the children's
development.
    "PACCK is all about families and children," said Nancy Cummings Gold,
President of the PACCK Foundation. "Our Autism Assistance Canine program is
designed to help keep kids safe, secure and assist in deepening their
emotional and social connections."
    Brodie, now 16, was diagnosed with Autism 13 years ago. For Brodie's
mother, Maureen, the diagnosis was a heartbreak but also a new chapter in
their lives.
    "I never thought a label would be important but it was a relief because
we knew what we were dealing with," she explained.
    Brodie, like 1 in 165 children in Quebec, has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    As a young child, Brodie was severely anti-social and did not like to be
touched. Like many children with Autism, he showed very aggressive and
self-harming behaviours.
    "His aggression towards himself and others increased with time," said
Maureen, who worries about her son's safety. "Brodie liked banging his head on
ceramic tile floors. Brodie also loved headlights on cars- he was fascinated
with that. He never thought twice about getting in front of moving vehicles.
He had no sense of danger. He would walk off with anyone because no one was a
stranger to him."
    Brodie's parents were committed to getting him the help he desperately
needed. Not long after Brodie's diagnosis, they turned to National Service
Dogs based in Cambridge, Ontario to acquire an Autism Assistance Canine. When
Shade joined their family, Brodie's fear of the outside world was taken away
and a barrier was removed from his life.
    "The dog kept Brodie grounded. It kept him from fleeing into danger and
his emotions from peaking," explained Maureen. "He was able to connect to
people and not be afraid of them. Even the self-harming behaviours disappeared
within a short time after we got Shade. His sleep pattern improved and we all
began to feel more ease. To us, this was a miracle!"

    The PACCK Foundation is a non-profit organization that uses Autism
Assistance Canines to help children with Autism build bridges to the world
around them. The launch of the PACCK Foundation's Autism Assistance Canine
program means that Quebec families can discover new possibilities and find
comfort in knowing that their child has a special watchdog and caring
companion.




For further information:

For further information: Mark Stolow, Executive Director, PACCK
Foundation, (514) 876-8888, mstolow@pacck.org; www.pacck.org

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PACCK

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