Epilepsy Foundation

Andrew Stevens, 12, owns a seizure response dog that can help him when he has seizures. Andrew has a rare form of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, which can result in many seizures a day. Andrew's parents say his dog, Alaya, can protect Andrew when he has a seizure, and even help stop a seizure from happening by swiping a magnet over a device in Andrew’s chest. The school district in Fairfax County, VA had originally stopped Andrew from bringing Alaya to school, in what the Epilepsy Foundation felt was a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other Federal laws. The school district is now allowing Andrew and Alaya to come to school (accompanied by Andrew’s father) on a probationary basis. The Epilepsy Foundation -- as part of our mission to help all people with epilepsy help overcome challenges from living the condition -- will continue to support Andrew and his family as the situation develops. For more information, go to http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org.

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Comment by nina marie hall on April 14, 2013 at 10:12am

honestly I think it makes it alot  easier on children in school now. they've found a way to help children without constantly taking them out of school and making them miss to get behind. I kno from experience. I think that this will do wonders for children in future generations.

Comment by Alexander Lodi on December 11, 2012 at 9:49am

Hi Bianca,

All I can say is WOW!! That is an amazing story and if you have any epilepsy social events in your area, now would be a great time for you and Asia to go spread the word. Awesome job to you, your parents and, of coarse...Asia!

God Bless.

Alex :)

Comment by Bianca Benavides on December 10, 2012 at 8:34pm

I've Had Seizures since i was 11 years old. like three to four times a week. My parents and i were scared of sending me to school and ANYWHERE outside of my house. i would  get ready go to school but I'll be so scared that i wouldn't want to leave the car. Well after a few weeks that I've had several seizures. i started talking to a very very close friend of mine about my fear and i don't know if God sent me a miracle or he had answered one out the hundreds of prayers i had sent but my friend told me her mom is a Sponsor for 4 Paws For Ability that trains dogs who can detect a seizure like up to five minutes before they hit. Her mom came to talk to my parents and i very interested  because i've Always wanted a dog. but i live in San Antonio TX and their Headquarters was in Ohio but my parents were very interested about the idea.so we flew there i met a 1 years old German Shepard Mix (girl) she is the sweetest dog i'v ever seen and she is adorable. She and i got so attached by the first day that the thought of not being able to take her home would break my heart. She was very expensive but my parents would pay a million dollar if there was a way to help me. We went through ALL the process and after three weeks we headed home with her on my lap. She and i are inseparable.I named her Asia. She stuck on me like Velcro. she followed me EVERYWHERE. Well when i went to school with her at my side for the first time everyone was shocked that it was possible to have a dog in school. My parents and i had a little trouble with the board but eventually they were okay with it so long as She CAN detect my Seizures. And She did I had several in school and she would bark like crazy before they hit and it would catch people attention so that they can help me. So many of the students wanted to pet her and all that but i would not let them because at school or anywhere outside of my house  she has a job to do and Asia knows it. Its against the law to refuse a service dog and its doesn't help that fact that the dog isn't with the patient because we become so attached that its IMPOSSIBLE to spend a minute apart.Asia goes with me everywhere school, the stores, the mall and anywhere that's outside of my house.she is m savior and She is a Miracle for me.  

Comment by www.myspace.com/myseizures on December 3, 2012 at 10:55pm

Thanks God, I don't live in this HEARTLESS Fairfax County, VA.

Those of us who had a life before Epilepsy destroyed our lives, know & can attest to Andrew's plight & STRIVE for normal life & the FAMILY'S WAR with BUREAUCRATIC VULTURES, who make a living out of human misery.

One wonders,

WOULD THESE HEARTLESS & SOULLESS INCONSIDERATE BUREAUCRATIC BASTARDS in Fairfax County school district,

1. TRADE places with Andrew Stevens, for a SINGLE DAY?
2. Check how it feels KNOCKED OUT UNCONSCIOUS & SEIZING, with no warning & alarm bells to take cover & stay safe?
3. Wake up with BLEEDING broken faces, totally confused, disoriented, semi-conscious & have no idea where you are at & why?
4. Hopelessly & helplessly walking the streets like ZOMBIE half-conscious & with no sense of direction?

5. SWITCH PLACES WITH Andrew Stevens FAMILY,,,

- desperately tyring to PROVIDE SAFE HEAVEN FOR THEIR LOVING CHILD &
totally overwhelmed & with EVERY-MINUTE-CONCERN of a sick child,

- taken HOSTAGE by "SCHOOL DISTRICT" BABY SITTING CRIMINAL JUVENILE HALLS, providing MALE & FEMALE GUEST ROOMS, HEAVENS, SPORTS, CAMPING & PICNIC for drug addicts, rapists, gangs, pick pockets,,, while depriving EARNEST CHILD wanting to grow up in NORMAL ENVIRONMENT.

HOW DARE DOES A "CIVILIZED COMMUNITY" DEPRIVE SAFETY TO HELPLESS CHILD?
Is this what Fairfax County,,, call "community"?
Hell No,,, Even KANGAROOS know how to care for their own sick children.

Andrew,,, WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE.
NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.

FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT,,, these SADIST FALSE MESSIAHS, who claim to educate community, while depriving safe-heaven for needy child.

Praying & wishing you ALL the best.

ANYTHING TO HELP ANDREW & THE FAMILY SHOULD BE DONE WITH NO BUREAUCRATIC NIGHTMARE & the so called 'coomunity' should support & help the child & the family, to cope with epilepsy.

ENOUGH PREACHING, LECTURING & "EDUCATING",,, Time for the Fairfax County "community" to PROVE, what it takes to be "community".

Comment by Joshua K Simpson on December 3, 2012 at 12:58am
Joshua k simpson
Comment by Art on September 18, 2012 at 1:37pm

Andrew,

I am not familar with a seizure response dog, only a guidedog like my wife has, because of blindness and a therpathy dog which freinds have. 

the therpathy dog is limited in the amount of places she can go but not so the guide dog.  Does your dog sense all types of seizues and what do they do?  They must be helpful, but in wht ways?

                                  Art

Comment by JMO on September 8, 2012 at 2:12pm
A service dog is a piece of medical equipment and is garnered by the same rights. Denying him access to his dog is the same as saying he can't take an oxygen tank or wheelchair to school.
However I do understand the requirement of having an adult present as the dogs handler.
Comment by marieg on September 8, 2012 at 12:00pm

I am a former elementary teacher (staying home with my boys for now).  Children can adjust to many things.  The children can be trained to understand about epilepsy and a working dog.  I would probably be able to adjust to that in my classroom.  It is sad that a school district cannot make adjustments in their school district.  Keep fighting for Andrew's rights.  I have epilepsy too.  

Comment by nina marie hall on August 22, 2012 at 6:01pm

I have a roughtwieler an shes like that wt me. Protects me an stays wt me through out my seisure an warns my famil that I am having on if they start in the night. They're amazing animals.

 

Comment by Bethany Grap on August 6, 2012 at 8:09pm

you go Andrew! good luck! how are seizure work dogs trained?

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