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 individuals living with autism, and their families, by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs.
Our service dogs provide physical safety and an emotional anchor for children with autism. With their child tethered to a service dog, families are able to engage in activities as simple as going to the park or going out to eat as a family. When out in the community, a service dog increases safety and helps families feel secure. The service dog’s calming presence can minimize and often eliminate emotional outbursts, enabling the child to more fully participate in community and family activities. In many cases, the service dog accompanies the child to school, helping with transitions between activities and locations. Having a service dog helps increase opportunities for the child to develop social and language skills with others.
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 children with special needs. While many service dog agencies existed to meet diverse needs, none provided specially trained dogs for children with autism. Ms. Taylor received some of her education at Assistance Dog Institute, the only institution of higher education for dog studies in the world.