Research Help

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Re: Research Help

Postby Tamien » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:27 pm

Some possibly relevant info on Service Animals I found after some Googling:
Canadian Service Dog Foundation wrote:In addition to supporting psychiatric disabilities service dogs can also be trained to provide mobility support and tasks specific to the needs of someone living with a physical disability.

Canadian Service Dog Foundation wrote:Cats are an ideal ESA and the breed of choice in our program is the Devon Rex cat. This breed is extremely social and bonds strongly with its human owner. Devons are by nature inquisitive, intelligent, active, tenacious, and even trainable. These cats can be thought to retrieve, to respond to prompts such as alarm clocks, and to follow routines. Once bonded to their human partner it is typical for Devons to follow their owner everywhere around the house and insisting upon being part of any activity, if not the center of attention. They are known to be shoulder riders and like to have physical contact with their owners as much as possible.

Canadian Registry of Therapy Animals and Service Animals wrote:Q: What species can be registered as a service animal?
A: Typically, most common service animals are dogs. While CRTASA accepts other species than dogs to become registered as an officially trained service animal, service animal in training or official therapy animal, CRTASA does not register reptiles, or exoctic or wild animals due to certain associated health risks these animals can pose to humans with immuno-compromised health conditions including the unpredictable nature of some of these animal species. For all other animal species and breeds, the primary criterion to qualify for CRTASA membership is the ability to provide requested documentation that the animal was or currently is being officially trained by an accredited training school or an accredited/licensed service animal trainer to perform specific tasks to assist their owner with daily activities.


A bunch of other links I found which I don't feel like going through for quotes but which might still be useful:
http://www.dogguides.com/programs.html
http://www.dogguides.com/forms/SSDForm.pdf
http://www.guidedogs.ca/aboutguidedogs.php
http://www.assistancedogsinternational. ... -dog-laws/
http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/conte ... d60f89RCRD
http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/conte ... d60f89RCRD
http://tldsb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013 ... s-Proc.pdf

In synthesis, what I'm getting is that it would be much easier for the Cricket to be registered as an Emotional Support Animal rather than a Mobility Assistance Animal / Service Animal - the requirements (for both the human and the animal) seem to be much less strict, and you still get all the "take them with you wherever you go for free" benefits (such as they are - ESAs are less protected, but mostly people don't question them and the same ones who do would likely also question regular Service Animals). However, there does seem to be an organization that trains ESA cats to perform basic tasks, and if the cat proved to be extraordinary (able to fulfill all the requirements of a service dog) they might be willing to make an exception, so it may be possible that the Cricket could pass the test to become an actual service animal. My main concern here is actually for the Bell - Bells historically lack any actual medical diagnosis of their condition (even Aegis, who underwent fairly intensive medical testing) and a diagnosis seems necessary. A diagnosis of "we don't know what the hell is wrong but it's clearly something", in sufficiently medical-ese jargon, might be enough. However, all it seems like ESAs need is a doctor's note, not a diagnosis. So if the Bell found a sympathetic doctor (which my friends who have ESAs for undiagnosed anxiety have been able to do in the US), they could get a note without having any specific, diagnosed medical need.
Last edited by Tamien on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Research Help

Postby Kappa » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:37 pm

It seems sensible to link the little_details post in this thread so the thread can still easily reference it after it scrolls off the front page of the community.

Also, whoa, nice going, Tamien!
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Re: Research Help

Postby Tamien » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:05 pm

Thanks! I like doing research, and providing people with relevant and useful information.

Since Bells don't seem to exhibit the symptoms of Vertigo or Disequilibrium, the only diagnosis I've found that even sortof fits Bell symptoms is Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), but I've spoken to Alicorn about it before and while Gross Motor symptoms fit, none of the Fine Motor (Bells have good handwriting), Verbal (Bells have no trouble articulating speech), or Cognitive (Bells have good memory and organizational ability) impairments of the condition fit, so she doesn't think it describes Bells. What I've read on the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria (among other things) makes it sound like it's possible to have dyspraxia/DCD only affect Gross Motor function, and given that Dyspraxia is a DSM-IV diagnosis, if she did actually get diagnosed, it would definitely qualify her for at least an ESA, at least in the US. And it seems like full-on service animals for Dyspraxia (especially the Apraxia that is frequently comorbid with Autism) is definitely a thing in both the US and Canada. But I don't know how plausible it is for that to happen, or if there's something else that would fit better, or if it's better for Bells to just have some sort of ideopathic condition that makes doctors scratch their heads and throw up their hands. So given all that, I think having the Cricket be an ESA would be the easiest option, because rather than having to deal with the rigamarole of getting a Real Diagnosis™, the Bell could just get some kindly school psychologist to write an official-looking note saying "Yes, she needs to have her cat with her for Medical Reasons" and that would be that.

Of course, I haven't looked into the wheelchair stuff at all, so it may be that you need a Real Diagnosis™ to get one of those, but I'm pretty sure you can actually just go buy a wheelchair if you want one, and you only need a diagnosis to get one actually prescribed. Then again, it's also entirely possible that a Bell could get (intentionally or unintentionally) misdiagnosed, if it would make things easier. Disequilibrium would probably hard to spoof, but if she wanted to fake Vertigo she'd just have to complain about being dizzy a lot, probably? If she wanted to fake Dyspraxia, she's already clumsy enough, and the compulsive journaling could be taken as compensation for a memory impairment, so all she'd have to do is fake bad handwriting or similar, and maybe a stutter. But it's also possible that a doctor would be like "enh, close enough" and diagnose as whatever her even if her symptoms aren't a perfect fit.
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Re: Research Help

Postby Alicorn » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:01 pm

Holy links, Batman.

Reading the diagnostic criteria, they seem so loose that you could drive a really clumsy monster truck through them, so I see no reason that if they actually go by this a Bell would have any trouble getting formally diagnosed with DCD. I mean, it literally appears to say "person is super clumsy for no obvious other reason, like, really super clumsy: if this is you, you are this thing". That's not a diagnosis so much as a junk drawer that is apparently populous enough to skirt the "idiopathic" vocabularic shrug, but I guess it'll make it easier for her to navigate healthcare and get things?
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Re: Research Help

Postby Kappa » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:33 am

a really clumsy monster truck

<3333333333333333333333333333
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Re: Research Help

Postby Tamien » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:29 am

Hahahah yeah, when I ran across those criteria I was like wow seriously? because I expected it to be much more specific than that. Then again, I also expected it to be a physiological diagnosis, not a DSM diagnosis. I also expected to find more disorders that involve poor gross motor coordination, but as far as I could find, this seems to be the primary one that doesn't involve other major issues. (Like, there's Muscular Dystrophy and Cerebral Palsy, but those seem to present more as "difficulty controlling movements" not "controls their movements fine but frequently does it wrong", if that makes sense?) So yeah, if a Bell needs a diagnosis in order to get her chair or her service animal, DCD seems like the one to go with.

On that topic, here's a bit of research research into what it takes to get a chair in Toronto!

The Ontario Assistive Devices Program (ADP) seems like a likely program for the Bell to be working with. (Here's a list of other resources for Ontario if that one turns out to not work for whatever reason.) Here's an informational form about how to apply for a mobility device. Here's the actual application form. It seems like application requries an Ontario Health Card, so here's info on the card itself and here's info on how you get one. It also seems like you need a Physiotherapist, so here's info on those. This article describes how a child might be assessed for DCD (although it is for the UK, not for Canada) and this one describes some avenues of treatment. Here is a minimally-informative article confirming that yes, physiotherapists do get involved for children with DCD in Canada. Here and here are some guides to DCD for physiotherapists. Looking up wheelchair prescription specifically in conjunction with DCD, and for interventions for DCD in general, I'm doubting whether DCD would get you prescribed a wheelchair - it's never mentioned as a possible intervention in any of the documents I've found - so maybe something like mild Cerebral Palsy would be a better fit? On the other hand, comment 18 on this post is by someone who uses a wheelchair when leaving the house due to severe dyspraxia, and this forum post is by someone with dyspraxia who uses a wheelchair part time (though they also evidently have some other issues that I don't know much about, so the two might not be related). My guess after all this is that it would be possible for our Bell to get a chair with a DCD diagnosis, but she or her parents would have to advocate hard for a chair over or in addition to other interventions. Enough sufficiently scary slips on winter ice might be able to convince a physiotherapist that if they want their patient to survive until their next appointment, a chair really is necessary, but it's hard to say - it's possible that they'd be happy to prescribe after seeing the difference it makes in Bell's ability to navigate a hallway, or it's possible they'd be adamant that it would only serve as a crutch (har har) and "she really needs to practice using her muscles if she's ever going to be able to move properly".
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Re: Research Help

Postby Alicorn » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:04 am

hoooooly liiiiinks batmaaaaan <3

I don't imagine her using the chair inside the home, or being that slow to decide to get up and go around if she encounters an unrollable obstacle, so the "using her muscles" thing isn't that good an argument (certainly she'll leave the house at all more often, especially in winter, if she has a chair) but whether someone would use this poor argument I do not know.
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Re: Research Help

Postby Tamien » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:28 am

^_^ I hope this helps you get at least some of the info you need!

As for the poor argument, well, I think that's up to how you decide to write her prescribing doctor/therapist.
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