Category Archives: ADHD

Melissa and SDiT Bjorn

From our wonderful trainer, Terry, in El Paso, who is training with Melissa and her SDIT, Bjorn! Melissa suffers from have major depression, anxiety, ADD, and OCD. Her anxiety has many triggers; the biggest two lately have been extreme amounts of stress and claustrophobia. She also has naturally low blood pressure, and when she gets sick, it tends to drop even lower and she has been known to lose her balance or pass out. She has appointments at the end of the month with a Rheumatologist. Her PCP thinks there is a likely chance that she has Lupus and RA.

Terry writes:

This is a great picture of Melissa and Bjorn successfully completing “controlled load into vehicle”. Additional training covered; proper leash control, “sits on command”, “noise distraction”, “off lead heeling”, and “controlled unload out of vehicle”. All in all, things went exceptionally well, especially for the first session of hands-on-training. Melissa has only had this dog for two weeks, but you can definitely tell during the session that she has put a lot of work into training, that Bjorn already had training despite being a rescue, and that Melissa and Bjorn absolutely love each other. From all indications, she will continue to provide this passion as long as she has this dog. Melissa and Bjorn are a wonderful fit, and will do well throughout the program.”

Assistance in the Rio Grande Valley and more

This is a message from our exceptionally brilliant and compassionate trainer, Jacqueline (Jackie). Her life’s passion is to help Veterans, and she asked us to post this for all Veterans, especially in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), if they need help.

I have been a graduate psychologist at the VA down here in the RGV. After working in 3 different VA health care systems, I have seen the great need for Veteran care and have seen both good (actually excellent) and bad ways VAs are run and treatment is provided. It is with an EXTREMELY saddened heart that I can no longer allow myself to provide a lower level of care to Veterans than what they deserve, nor be forced into functioning in a treatment setting that is providing unethical care.

I LOVE my work with Veterans and see such a huge need for this to continue, but as I leave, I also see several other amazing psychologists leaving as well due to the same challenges. I continue to see a need for Behavioral Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley, with Veterans and Civilians alike. After 11 years of schooling and 7 years providing Behavioral Health (BH) Services, I was completing my licensure requirements as a psychologist to provide the highest and most comprehensive options out there, however, despite the need for services in the RGV, I ran into several dead ends for finishing this last piece. However, I am willing to put my own final step on hold to help two communities (Veterans and anyone in the RGV) in need of BH services.

I hold a Masters Level License in the State of Texas that allows me to practice independently (but with some restrictions from what I would have had with my psychologist license and obviously at about 1/3-1/4 of the pay). I am hoping to make some things come together over the next month or two (and will probably be open to picking up random general labor work as my student loans have gone into effect and I incurred debt moving from Idaho to here), but am hoping to offer TeleHealth (similar to Skyping but in a much more secure system) and/or in home therapy/animal assisted-therapy services here in the RGV at hopefully a fraction of the cost of some other places (most likely on an income based sliding scale fee basis) since I will not be accepting insurance and I am wanting to reach a larger population of those in need.

That being said, minus the in-home piece, I am able to offer this TeleHealth service within the scope of my practice anywhere in the state of Texas. I am most wanting to reach Veterans as I know for many, wait times between treatment sessions is 2-3 months in several facilities throughout the state. However, I am also really wanting to service Civilians in the RGV and throughout Texas. I am NOT bilingual unfortunately, but have a considerable amount of understanding of the RGV culture, the Hispanic Culture, and the Texas Hispanic Culture.

For those of you who may know of people who may be able to benefit from this, please feel free to contact me. I will gladly share my extensive training and treatment experience with anyone who requests this, and am hoping to start this as an option for the community within the next two months.

Please contact me at: Jacqueline Kappelman

Session With Hannah And Addie

From our wonderful trainer in Austin, who is working with 15 year-old Hannah and diagnosed with PTSD, Mood Disorder(Bipolar Disorder), Anxiety Disorder, ADHD Combined type :

“Hi Laurie!

I just had a session with Hannah and Addie! Addie has grown since I saw her back in May.  She is now 4 months old and weighs 27 pounds; her vet predicts her to be at least 70 pounds once she is full grown and matured. She is so sweet and curious about the outside world!

We met at a Petsmart, and worked on getting German Shepherd Addie used to distractions around her. I gave Hannah some basic tips to work on the duration of Addie’s “stays.” Addie knows “sit” and “down” very well and on command. I also started Hannah on loose-leash walking and heeling by her side, as well to incorporate the close behavior whenever Addie forges ahead.

The family is working on Addie are jumping and chewing on things. So, I told them to focus on redirecting her chewing to toys, bones and etc.As for the jumping, I told Hannah to gently pull either turn her back to Addie until she stops jumping and told her to put Addie into a “sit” or a “down” and have that be the default behaviors every time she jumps up on somebody to give hugs. I also Addie the basic steps of “leave it” because Addie will go after food that drops to the floor.

Addie is incredibly smart and sensitive to her surroundings. I am pumped to see the progress continue between Hannah and Addie as Addie grows into a mature female. Hannah and Addie are two peas in a pod and Addie is greatly going to serve Hannah when she gets older.”


Another wonderful update from Candace, our trainer in Dallas:

dyslexia“Sunday, we had our first group class with LaCretia and her SDIT Boomer and the Kelli and her family and SDIT Buddy. Kelly’s son is a ten year-old with Asperger’s, dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, auditory processing disorder and mild hearing loss. LaCretia has adrenal failure, and needs Boomer to learn to alert to her cortisone levels.

It was a great success! We spent the first hour getting to know one another and working commands. I set up flags for “Command Stations” and we practiced each command for about a minute and a half. Then, we moved on and practiced walking next to a moderately busy road. After that, we worked on the command “Under” with dysgraphiapicnic tables and benches. The second hour we spent in the mall, just walking and getting the dogs public exposure. They did really fantastic! We walked around the mall and in several stores – one of which was filled with children. We still have some kinks to work out, but all in all, we have some pretty spectacular and hard working families!”