Sienna is a wonderful young person who has a rare & severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome which causes her to have prolonged seizures which effect breathing and often require hospital admission/intervention. Sunny has a very important role to help keep Sienna safe. He is trained to alert to her oncoming seizures which helps ensure that sienna is somewhere safe when they happen and all the equipment needed to care for her during a seizure is ready which makes each seizure a little safer and easier to manage. Sunny is also trained to fetch sienna’s rescue medication on command. This medication is used to try and decrease the length and severity of Sienna’s seizures. By Sunny being able to fetch the rescue medication, even when it is in a bag or in another room this means that Sienna’s mum doesn’t need to leave her side to get it if sienna is having a seizure. Sunny will also lie next to Sienna or across her legs as she comes out of a seizure to help reduce emotional distress as she wakes up.
Sienna also has autism so we have been teaching Sunny autism assistance tasks as well to help Sienna. Sunny is great at finding Sienna if she runs off or hides which, especially given her epilepsy, is vital for her safety. Sienna and sunny love practicing the hide and seek training game together! We’ve also taught sunny to give deep pressure therapy to help Sienna calm down when she is feeling distressed or in sensory overload.
Sienna and sunny have an incredibly bond and they love training and working together. Sunny is already making a massive difference in Sienna’s life and we can’t wait to see how this family grow together.
"Thanks to the endless energy and professional, structured approach from Heather, we have gained knowledge and received lots of practical assistance, tailored to Sienna’s needs.” Said Sienna’s Mum. “We’ve been set lots of homework tasks for Sunny, which are helping mitigate the impact of Sienna’s disability in the daily living. We had the opportunity to meet amazing people (currently virtually), share our stories and training experience in a safe, friendly environment and be a part of the Pawsitive squad Community."
Sienna accesses Pawsitive Squad through the special circumstances scheme which enables young people with significantly life threatening or life limiting conditions to access training quickly while limiting the paperwork burden of the program on the family. Individuals applying to the special circumstances scheme are offered a place even when the books are closed.