Author Topic: Do I Qualify?  (Read 753 times)

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Offline aeridoes

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Do I Qualify?
« on: April 20, 2017, 12:14:29 PM »
I'm 16 sadly with an abundance of issues stemmed from childhood trauma. I am wondering if I qualify for a service dog. I've been diagnosed with OCD and tourettes syndrome within the past 5 years. I don't know how to explain it, but I never know I'm doing my tics and compulsions. It's like blinking, you don't really notice when you are and it just happens. I have scars on my thighs because I pick at my skin bloody without knowing and I have this tic with my throat that hurts, i contract it sort of and after a while it gets raw and incredibly painful. because I have NO idea i'm doing it until it gets to the point where I feel I'm coughing up blood.... not to mention I feel as if I look like a freak while doing it (i've considered wearing bandanas because I get such odd looks). yes, I'm on medication. when i wasn't on meds it was so terrible to the point where i would just always shake from the pain and frustration of not being able to notice it and control it. while on meds, it helps but it is still very bad. i'm sorry if this is hard to understand. i'm just looking for opinions.

Offline missythewriter

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Re: Do I Qualify?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 02:34:17 PM »
To qualify for a service dog, you must meet the definition of disabled under the ADA law. No one knows you better than you, so you (and maybe your doctors) are the only ones who can determine whether or not you are disabled.

Next thing you have to think about is whether or not you could benefit from a service dog. What would a service dog do for you that you can't do for yourself? I would recommend making a list of things you can't do because of your OCD and Tourettes. Don't make a list of service dog tasks, but make a list of things you can't do. Then go over that list and think about the ways a dog could mitigate your disability through fulfilling those things you need, but don't have/can't do.

Hope this helps. At the end of the day, it's up to you--no one can determine whether or not you are disabled and could benefit but you. :smile:

Offline aeridoes

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Re: Do I Qualify?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 03:04:20 PM »
great response thank you so much, I'll do that! hopefully i will find the answer eventually haha

Offline iamthelamp

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Re: Do I Qualify?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 03:47:56 PM »
Like missy said, the only qualification is to be considered disabled by the ADA.

Not being aware of some of your own behaviours is something a service dog can help with, but ultimately cannot stop. A dog would need to be trained to signal you when you are doing that behaviour, (picking at your skin, contracting the muscles in your neck), which puts the ball in your court. You are then in control, both of rewarding your dog for the signal, and for stopping the unwanted behaviour. If you don't respond to reward the dog, you will untrain the signal.

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Offline Suse

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Re: Do I Qualify?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 05:48:17 PM »
I am curious, if someone lets you know you are doing one of the behaviors are you able to then stop?   And are you working with a therapist to become more aware of behaviors yourself when they start?

Offline PaperVoice24

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Re: Do I Qualify?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 08:25:29 PM »
Not being aware of tics is interesting. I was diagnosed with Tourette's and OCD at 15, but it all started when I was 12. Within weeks, I became aware of the classic premonitory urge. This is the physical sensation that makes me feel like I need to tic. Tourette Syndrome, first and foremost, is a sensory disorder. The tic is a product of the premonitory urge, which is the disorder itself. I would go to your neurologist and talk about why you have no premonitory urge, and perhaps looking into CBIT so that you can become more aware of any sensation.
Be gentle with yourself, for you are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.