About Autism Service Dogs of America
Our mission at Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA) is to make a positive impact on the lives of children living with autism—and their families—by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs.
Our service dogs provide a physical and emotional anchor for children with autism. With their child tethered to a service dog, families feel they are newly freed to engage in activities as simple as going out to eat. When out in the community, a service dog can increase safety and make families feel secure. In many cases, the service dog accompanies the child to school, where its calming presence can minimize and often eliminate emotional outbursts, enabling the child to more fully participate in his or her school day. Transitioning among school day activities is eased and the service dog provides a focus through which the child can interact with other children. This helps increase the opportunity for the child to develop social and language skills.
ASDA was founded in 2002 by Priscilla Taylor. Incorporating her love of dogs and her background as a special education teacher, she formed this non-profit, community-based organization to aid special children. While many service dog agencies existed to meet diverse needs, none provided specially trained dogs for children with autism. Ms. Taylor, Founder and Director of ASDA, received some of her education at Assistance Dog Institute, the only institution of higher education for dog studies in the world.