Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disorder in the U.S. Every 11 minutes, another family receives the devastating news that their child has an autism spectrum disorder. Walk Now for Autism Speaks will be held on Saturday, November 2 at 8:00 am – 11:00 am at UNLV – outdoors by the Student Union. It will be a fun-filled, family friendly event. Thousands will gather to raise awareness and funds, united by a single cause.
For the first time therapy dogs have been invited to be on hand to assist with meltdowns or children having a tough day of it. The dogs chosen are all with the Love Dog Adventures team in Vegas and are all Delta Pet Partner registered teams. The dogs currently work with children on the spectrum weekly and are known by many of the children who will be walking. Kirby and Benny were the first dogs to be introduced to the kids, and many stories have been written about their work with a young boy named Julian.
Over the past year and a half Julian has met over ten Love Dogs and made tremendous strides with regard to his language and communication skills, focus and retention, impulse control and so many other areas of his daily living. We are counting on Julian to introduce Benny and his furry friends to other children at the Walk so they too can benefit from the therapies offered by these handlers and dogs. Even if just for a moment in the day.
Remember it is both ends of the leash that is critical to the success of any animal assisted therapy program as they must guide and nurture their animals to achieve any goal. The Love Dogs and their handlers will be dispersed through the crowds as well as on site to teach children how to greet a dog, help fearful children, perhaps sit down on a blanket and read a story to the dogs.
To support the Walk by contributing to Team Julian, click on this link and enter “Team Julian” under “Support a Team”:
To read more about Julian’s journey: