Gina's People: Service Dogs - New York News

Gina's People

Gina's People: Service Dogs

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Nearly one in 68 children in the United States have autism. For those dealing with the severe form of the disorder, hope comes in the form of man’s best friend.

That’s the focus of this week’s Gina’s People.

Seven year old Steven Hawkins is severely autistic. He’s not able to speak and has the mental capacity of a 2-year old. His mother Sarah says, “When you have a disabled child, it’s kind of crazy every day from one moment to the next.” Hawkins says Steven often gets sensory overload and is prone to extremely horrible meltdowns. When that happens, Steven tends to run. Sometimes he runs into the street. A service dog, would be able to stop that. Caleb Anderson is the founder of Remedy Retrievers, an organization that trains dogs to help people with disabilities. He says service dogs can bring peace to a mind in chaos. But they can be expensive. It takes two years to train a dog and the cost can be as high $20,000. There are several agencies that provide free service dogs for children like Steven but the waiting lists can be long, that is why Sarah is taking matters into her hands. She’s excited about the amazing possibilities. “I have heard of stories where non-verbal children such as my son actually start talking to their service dog, it’s a huge step,” says Sarah. If you like to find out more about Remedy Retrievers, here a link to their: http://remedyservicedogs.org/

If you would like to help the Hawkins family, you can contact them through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/servicedogforsteven

If you know of a person making a difference in the community or an awesome program, Let Gina know. She does positive segments every week.


Gina's People: We want to hear from you!

Gina has seen her share of people throughout Southern California – real characters with real stories many making a difference each day with little to no recognition. These are Gina's People, hometown heroes who quietly go about making Southern California and the world a better place for all of us.

If you know a person or a group who deserves some recognition, please fill out this form which goes directly to Gina.

Help her tell the stories of the people and groups who make a big difference each day.


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