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      Help a 3-year-old get an autism service dog

      Kaden Ballard, 3, suffers from autism. / Courtesy Photo

      It's a staggering statistic.

      According to Autism Speaks, an estimated one in every 110 children are diagnosed with autism. The disease affects millions, but fortunately, there is a way to help those with autism live.

      That's by having a service dog.

      Three-year-old Kaden Ballard and his family are hoping they can afford the nearly $15,000 it takes to purchase one of these dogs.

      Just by looking at Kaden, you would never guess that he has autism. His mother, Christian Pyle, said her son stopped responding and seemed different when he was about one and a half years old.

      "I had a few family members that mentioned autism to me and as bad as I didn't want to hear it, I kind of knew, deep down inside that that's what it probably was," said Kaden's mom, Christian Pyle."

      Kaden continues to do normal things, like playing on the playground with his younger brother, Mason, but there are times, according to his mom, that his autism acts up.

      An autism service dog, from Compassionate Paws, would help Kaden and his family deal with those tough times. The dogs also make those with autism start to become more independent.

      "The dogs comfort children, they help them cope with meltdowns and they help them stay close to family," Pyle said. "When he gets overwhelmed, life is real hard on Kaden. This is part of me trying to help him and for us as a family be able to have a little more peace in our household."

      To help Kaden's Cause for Paws, you can donate to the Kaden Ballard fund at Happy State Bank. For more information on Kaden's story or to donate online, click here.