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Hi! My name is Matthew.­­­­­ I have Asperger's Syndrome (a form of Autism). I also have a Mixed Expressive and Receptive Language Disorder, Severe Dyslexia and Anxiety. I don't understand what all this means, I only know it makes it hard to understand other people and the world around me.

Hi, my name is Robert. I’m 12 years old and was diagnosed with a form of autism called PDD/NOS when I was almost 3 years old. Even though I have autism, I like to do lots of things that other kids do. I am a catcher for my baseball team, I play basketball in the winter, I love to geocache and I am a HUGE Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Patriots fan. However, having this kind of autism comes with challenges including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and auditory processing disorder. I also struggle with executive functioning and transitioning from one thing to the next throughout the day can be very challenging for me.

Hi, this is David and he is 8 years old. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 21 months old. David is a loving, sweet, polite boy who truly enjoys life. He is always happy and laughing. He enjoys playing on his iPad, playing with his toys and being up in New Hampshire at his camper. Although David is such a happy, fun loving boy he has a lot of anxieties and trouble regulating his emotions at times. David is fearful of the dark, nightmares, being alone and sleeping. He also struggles with going to the doctors and/or places with a lot of people, especially if there is a high demand of expectations put on him.

Thekla was thrilled to be matched with her service dog Keely this past June, 2016! A better match could not have been made! Ever since, Thekla and Keely have been inseparable. The difference Keely makes in Thekla’s life is amazing and their bond is so strong and so sweet. Here is what Thekla recently said about having Keely in her life: When I first met Keely and they showed me to her she licked me super crazy. She cuddles with me and any time I ask her to “visit” with me she puts her head on my lap. Keely is so cool because when we are out other kids or grownups ask to pet her and she helps me start conversations. She helps me feel more comfortable talking to people I don’t know. She changed my life completely! I love her so much. She is my best friend and she and I go everywhere together. Keely is so special to me and I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

Hi my name is Lillian Fraser-Gray and I am 12 years old. I have been in intensive therapy since 18 months old. I have been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, moderate retardation, Major Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, Mood Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, Mixed Receptive and Expressive Language Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder, and cognitively stuck at about mid-kindergarten level. I have a very hard time dealing with all things going on around me. I am very happy to be in this process for a service dog to help me remain calm so that I may go out into the world and not be afraid or able to handle it. I am truly happy and eager to be able for this opportunity and grateful for NEADS. Thank you very much, Lily

Martha is a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with autism who struggles daily to communicate her wants and needs to others. She attends school at Nashoba Learning Group where she has made great strides. We feel a NEADS dog will help Martha develop her social skills as it accompanies her on outings in the community. The dog will also be a companion for Martha, who, because of her disability, does not have the peer relationships of a typical teenager. Having a dog will also give Martha a feeling of responsibility as she will be feeding and walking him/her.

Hi! I’m Olivia and I am so excited to have Rigney - my social dog! I have high-functioning autism with a sensory processing disorder and generalized anxiety disorder – this cause me to be a worry wart. Every day I worry about everything. Even though I love to have fun and play with my friends and learn at school, I worry about people being naughty and unkind words, and unknown things. Sometimes I hide when I worry.

Hello. My name is Billy and I am 11 years old. I have severe anxiety, Asperger's Syndrome (high functioning autism), and ADHD. I find it very difficult to be in social situations, or even just leave the house because of the Asperger's and anxiety. This past January my Mom removed me from public school because it was too over stimulating and stressful for me. My attendance was atrocious and my grades slipped dramatically. I am now homeschooled and it is a much better situation for me. My grades have improved and I made High Honor Roll while homeschooling.

Hi, my name is Brennan and I am 12 years old. I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and anxiety about 6 years ago. I am a very sweet and sensitive boy. I like to make people happy. I enjoy playing video games because they help me to stop worrying about things and move on from bad times. I like being with my family. I enjoy swimming, too.

In the summer of 2015, Ben was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism; many people are more familiar with the term Asperger’s Syndrome. We always knew our Benjamin Bunny was quirky: when he was learning to walk, he'd never let you see him trying. As soon as you'd turn your head to see what he was up to, he'd sit down. Then one day around 15 months old, he just walked across the living room like he'd been doing it for years.

My name is Maddy, I’m 15 years old and I live in Raynham, MA. I was diagnosed with ASD (Asperger’s) when I was twelve years old. I have struggled with different things such as anxiety/depression, regulating my emotions, forming friendships and eating since I was little. I also have a hard time when I am not in my own environment and going to school has always been hard for me. I feel best when I am at home. I really feel like having a social dog will help me a lot with all of these things.