So, I think we can all agree at this point that the service dog idea was a good one. Gray is definitely more compliant with Hope on his side. Transitions happen quicker at school. Restaurant meals are possible. Park outings are smooth.
Also, Gray does seem to be getting some sensory comfort from stroking her fur or sliding his hand under her pack when he is sitting next to her in the car.
The thing that is interesting to me is that, in spite of how well Gray is taking to this new situation, he really doesn’t notice Hope. To him, it just seems like another behavioral limitation has been put in place. Granted, he has responded more quickly to this than other limitations, but that’s it. He seems to have no awareness that there is A DOG STRAPPED TO HIM! You would think that he would show some acknowledgement that this is cool dog is by his side all the time. I know that other kids in this program develop a bond with their dog. They seek comfort in their dog and even learn to verbalize the dog’s name.
Barry thinks that it’s too early for me to expect any bonding from Gray. I guess he is right. Gray certainly bonds to his teachers and therapists and babysitters, but they are demanding attention from him. Hope does not demand anything except proximity. I will be interested to see how this relationship develops.