My name is Grace Kelly and I have lived in southwest Florida for all 18 years of my life. For 16 years of that life, my mom and I tried desperately to find a diagnosis that encompasses all my difficulties. It would eventually take watching “Rain Man” to get my answer. Multiple doctors later confirmed that I was born with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Savant Syndrome. I’m grateful for the gifts that I’ve been given as a savant; but, it doesn’t make having autism any easier. In fact, it’s the reason it took so long to find my diagnosis.
Finding out I have something that I will have for the rest of my life was devastating. I lost hope that my life could ever get to be tolerable, let alone enjoyable. When my mom found out about autism service dogs, I found the hope that I had been missing all my life! From learning how much I could gain from an autism dog, I learned about mobility service dogs. Not only is there something that can aid with my autism-related issues, but medical-related ones as well! Like many people with ASD, I have many miscellaneous medical issues. For one: my left leg is ½ inch longer and has 2 ½ more muscles than the right leg. This causes constant imbalance, limited mobility when bending my ankle, and makes using stairs dangerous. There are so many ways that a service dog would help me that it would be near impossible to list them all.
I am so excited to have found the help that I’ve needed for so long in the form of a TOPAZ assistance dog. Anything that can be donated to help me and my future best friend find each other would be greatly appreciated!