Autism Assistance Program
What our Autism Assistance Dogs can do for your family
Autism service dogs can help an individual on the Autism Spectrum in many ways with tasks such as tethering, deep pressure therapy, interrupting self-harm and/or stimming behaviors, calming tantrums and meltdowns, acting as an emergency anchor to help with bolting, confidence building, and more. Autism Spectrum Disorders can affect people in different ways and each family's task needs will vary, so we tailor our training program to provide a curriculum specific for each Service Dog based on the needs and lifestyle of their new family.
Requirements for our Autism Assistance families
The individual must be diagnosed for a minimum of 1 year.
A child must be 6 years of age or older when receiving one of our dogs to qualify as symptoms can develop and change drastically prior to this stage.
The family must be able to financially provide for the healthcare, grooming, food etc. for the lifetime of the dog.
The family must have a dedicated main handler for the dog responsible for maintaining the working dogs tasks and obedience as well as maintaining the care and safety of the dog. Working dogs are a very big responsibility and take a lot of work and time to maintain their abilities as well as require a lot of care themselves to live a full life. Their needs and continued training must be a main point of consideration for a successful placement both for the wellbeing of the person in need as well as the dog.
The family must be available to make routine visits to the facility for bonding and training opportunities.
The Training process and timeline for an Autism Assistance Dog
Once admitted into the Autism program, we will match the puppy with a prospective family and begin advanced individualized task training while continuing to polish their obedience commands and public access requirements. They are trained 4 tasks selected to assist the individual with autism spectrum disorder. All service dogs from Deer Creek must pass the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test prior to becoming a certified service dog. This high level of training is generally completed around 1 year of age.
The Cost of an Autism Assistance Dog
Our Autism Assistance dogs start at $20,000 and includes 4 tasks. Autism Assistance dogs go home 1 year through 1 year 4 months of age and must be delivered by one of our trainers to their new family's home for a good transition. Family's are encouraged to visit their Service dog in training as often as they can for bonding and training opportunities to make the placement successful. Traveling to visit as well as the trainer traveling to deliver must be considered in the cost of a Service Dog as well.