Kender will meet his service dog on May 12, 2014. In order for the trainers to do the best job possible of training a dog specifically for Kender and his particular needs, we have to fill out an extensive match form and make a video for the trainers. The video needs to show all of Kender’s behaviors and how he acts in different circumstances. We have to get it done and in to the trainers by four months prior to our class, or mid-January, 2014. I’ve been taking video here and there since July to try and prepare for this, but now that I finally have the paperwork and am facing the deadline, I still feel overwhelmed. I’m going to document the process here, and if anybody wants to help out at all, it would be greatly appreciated, whether you have experience making documentary-type videos or whether you have some input or suggestions on my responses.
The first step is filling out our “Making a Good Match” form. This is a brief outline of what’s also going to go into the video. It starts out with basic demographics like name, age, and height, and then it moves on to the more detailed stuff. Pretty much everything in these questions is going to need to be in the video.
How active is your child? He runs.
If you are getting a dog for tethering purposes, please tell us how resistant your child is on a scale of 1-10 when being held (hands or otherwise) in public, i.e., does he respond right away to your restraint (1) or fight you to get away (10)? 8
Kender with his cane at Halloween 2013.
Uses adaptive equipment to get around? A blind mobility cane.
How does your child communicate? He uses words and phrases when he knows them. He frequently shows dissent or displeasure by screaming and/or crashing to the floor. He shows happiness by jumping, running, and flapping his hands.
Does your child make unusual verbalizations? He sings pop music songs a lot, using vocal exercises to mimic instrumental sections. When he says “no”, he often screams it. If he doesn’t get something he asks for, he will repeat his demands over and over at the top of his lungs. He makes loud beeps and hums, and he likes to mimic all sorts of loud environmental noises, including trains, mixers, blenders, power tools, alarm clocks, door alarms, leafblowers, and more.
Do they scream, squeal, or make loud noises? Yes, yes, and yes.
Does your child engage in verbal aggression, such as yelling at people or cursing? Yes, he will get in my face and scream or shout repeatedly if I don’t immediately give him what he wants. “BATH! BATH! TAKE A BATH! BATH!” “I WANT CHIPS AND SALSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!”
Does your child have odd physical behavior or movements? Yes, he flaps his hands and has this odd trot-gallop-thing he does when he’s happy. He spins and lies on the floor a lot, kicking things or slamming cabinets and doors.
Describe: Self-stimulation? He rocks a lot when he is seated, in a chair or in the car, banging his head against the back of his seat, sometimes singing along. He bounces and flaps his hands when he is happy or excited. He is an eye-poker, a blindness behavior we would like to prevent if possible as it causes sunken eyes.
Odd movements? His gait when he runs from happiness is like a cross between a trot and a gallop and a skip, very unusual for a human.
Self abuse? Mostly this would be the eye-poking, although sometimes he will bang his head on the floor when he is frustrated. This has left carpet rash on his forehead before.
Aggression towards others? Kender greets everybody and everything by slapping them on the legs or the side, whether it’s people, cats, or dogs. He will “sneak” up behind me and smack me on the back as hard as he can, out of nowhere. He will hit somebody who is holding him over and over, sometimes leaving marks on my arms and legs. He thinks it is funny to throw things down the stairs, and that includes cats if he can catch one, another behavior we’d like to stop.