Q?

Can you customize a dog to meet my child’s needs?

A.

Yes, through our application process we identify information to help us find a dog that will compliment your child and train the dog to the specific needs of your child and family. All of our dogs are specifically customized to meet the needs of the family.

Q?

Do you have delivery services available?

A.

We have a free delivery service within a 60-mile radius of our central location in Harmony, NC. Any other delivery expenses must be paid at the owners’ expense.

Q?

What happens if the dog and the family don’t bond?

A.

We guarantee that the placement of the dog with your family will be a successful one.

Q?

How do Autism Assistance Dogs help?

A.

Studies have shown that time spent with service animals can break through a child’s communication barriers and provide successful results. Autism Assistance Dogs can build social bridges for children where insecurities once limited their interactions. For instance, having a service dog will help build stability in the child’s life which will ultimately help him/her with social and situational interactions.

Q?

How long does it take to train the dog?

A.

Once a dog is chosen for your child and your family, it usually takes between 4-6 months. Some situations may require extensive training that can extend past 6 months.

Q?

Does an Autism Assistance Dog have the same rights as a service dog?

A.

Yes. The ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act governs the use of service dogs to assist people. The ADA also outlines where dogs can be taken and under what circumstances.

Q?

What is autism?

A.

Autism is a bio-neurological disorder that is observable in early childhood with symptoms of abnormal self-absorption, characterized by lack of response to other humans, and by limited ability or disinclination to communicate and socialize. Other symptoms include avoiding eye contact, sensory integration dysfunction, and restricted, and repetitive behaviors such as self-stimulating behaviors (stimming), which may include hand flapping, rocking, spinning, or word repetition.

Q?

How old does my child have to be in order to be eligible for an Autism Assistance Dog?

A.

We understand that each case is different, however we typically do not recommend placing a dog in a home where the autistic child is less than 5 years of age.  In our experience, the disability combined with lack of maturity in a child under five (5) years of age, creates a situation which may put the ability of the child and the dog to bond properly at risk.

Q?

What is the difference between your organization and others?

A.

Through our professional training experience and  decades of combined knowledge, we have perfected a system of canine selection that will place the best suited dog with your particular situation. Our prices are often more affordable than those of other groups because we do not manage large, and often expensive, puppy programs in which a large number of pups do not “make it” to be working assistance dogs. Our waiting list and wait times to obtain an Autism Assistance Dog is typically much shorter than other organizations as well. We feel that waiting 3-5 years to obtain a dog is impractical and does not generally meet the needs of the family and child in need.

Q?

What types of dogs are eligible?

A.

We understand that each situation is unique and one breed will not fit every family’s needs; however, we have found that certain breeds have the temperament, suitability, and drive to make successful assistance dogs. Typical service dog breeds include Labradors, Golden Retriever, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Standard Poodles, Shepadoodles, Border Collies, and German Shepherds. We have had the opportunity to work with a large number of mixed breeds who have passed our service dog evaluation process and have become successful service companions.

Q?

Do you offer financial assistance?

A.

Although we do not offer financial assistance, we are more than happy to provide you with information regarding fundraising or any available grants for which you may qualify.

Q?

We already have a dog; can you train our personal or family dog as a service animal?

A.

We are more than happy to evaluate your dog with our service evaluation and temperament testing.  However, there are several additional factors to consider.  The length of training can be anywhere from 8-12 months for service dog training. Some families find it difficult to be separated from their pet for such an extended period of time.  The age of the pet must also be considered.  Training a service animal requires a great deal of time and resources; it is important for most of our families that the animal be able to work for their family for as many years as possible.

Q?

What type of training is involved with our child and our family?

A.

Our Service Agreement includes 4-5 days of training with a parent/guardian, the child, and the dog. During these sessions we will cover how the dog was trained, how your family and the child should handle the dog, and how to maintain the dog’s training.

Q?

What type of maintenance is there to keep the dog trained?

A.

We offer many different options in order to maintain the training on your service dog for years to come. On the day of pickup we will cover a specific program and training to fit the particular needs of your family. In general, we suggest that you work with one of our trainers at least once a year for a few days to work out any kinks and/or learn any new techniques.