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Family of autistic child seeks support
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Editor, My name is Regina Ross-Schmid and I am the mother of 5-year-old Kathryn who has been diagnosed with autism.  Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disorder that impacts all aspects of child’s life. Signs and symptoms of this disorder appear before a child is 3 years old.
Early diagnosis and intervention can help the child, but there is no cure. These children and their families are faced with unique concerns and challenges due to the pervasiveness of this disorder. The most profound effect of the disorder is how it impairs the child’s ability to communicate and interact with the world around them.
Autism service dogs are incredible animals that can become integral members of the family. They are trained for the unique needs of children with autism. They become a support to the family as well as a best friend to the child. We are currently working with 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing certified service animals for children with disabilities. 4 Paws for Ability has agreed to provide my daughter with a trained autism service dog in exchange for our raising $13,000 for them.
Kathryn’s dog will be trained in tethering, behavior disruption and hand signals to accompany verbal commands. Her dog will also be trained in search and rescue in the event Kathryn were to ever wander away, as so many autistic children do.
Our first fundraiser will be from 3-9 p.m. Monday,  Aug. 30, at Chuck E. Cheese, 6700 Abercorn St., Savannah. We invite everyone to come out and join us for a night of fun. 15 percent of the night’s total proceeds will go to 4 Paws for Ability in honor of Kathryn to help us meet our fundraising goal.
There are many ways people can help Kathryn bring her new best friend home. All donations are greatly appreciated. Allowing us to place a donation jar at your business, hosting or sponsoring a local fundraiser, donating products, merchandise or services for a raffle or silent auction are just some of the ideas.
You can also make a tax-free donation directly to:
4 Paws for Ability, Inc
253 Dayton Ave.  
Xenia, OH 15385
Please include “In honor of Kathryn Ross-Schmid” in the memo line of your check so that Kathryn will get credit for our fundraising efforts.
Donations of services, products or merchandise can be mailed to:
Regina Ross-Schmid
P.O. Box 3972
Fort Stewart, GA  31315
For more information about 4 Paws for Ability, please visit Anyone who would like to help can e-mail me at or call 970-744-8857.

— Regina Ross-Schmid
Fort Stewart

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