Frequently Asked Questions about ASDA
For frequently-asked questions about puppy raising, please look under the For Volunteers section of this website.
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No. ASDA dogs are specifically trained to assist individuals living with the special challenges of autism.Our team is made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds with unique experience and skills. For more information, please see “About Us, Our Trainers.”On average, twelve months. Factors include the number of available dogs, how quickly an applicant completes the process and raises funds, and how quickly a proper match is made.ASDA does not place service dogs with children under the age of five. We recommend that application be made when the child is at least four years.ASDA expects to receive $13,500 as a donation towards our general operating expenses. This money can be raised through family, friends, grants, and community organizations. Once the family’s contribution is received, your name will be placed in line for the next available and appropriate service dog.The average expense in breeding, socializing, raising, training and placing a service dog is $20,000. Although ASDA receives contributions from the public, and some grants, in order to operate we also require donations from the families who receive our service dogs.ASDA provides our families with:
A well-bred, trained and socialized ADA compliant autism service dog One week of individual training for the primary caregiver(s) at the ASDA training center outside of Portland, Oregon One week of individualized home tether training, and in-school placement training, at the recipient’s homeOur initial application process provides ASDA with the documents and information we need to make a selection. Once approved, we gather more information through telephone and e-mail communications.It is not necessary for a service dog to be a puppy for your child to bond with it. Assistance dogs have been placed with the disabled for over 70 years, most placed after the dog reached adulthood and was fully trained.While other agencies have either off-site training (at the agency headquarters), or on-site training (in home), ASDA does both. We require the primary caregiver to train with us at ASDA headquarters so that they can learn to handle the dog, and begin initial bonding. Phase two takes place with our trainer, but in the environment that the dog will actually live and work in. Both phases are important for long-term success.No, the placement specialist stays in a nearby hotel. Please note that ASDA trainer’s travel costs must be covered separately from the donation request.We prefer that only the principal caregiver join us at our headquarters in Oregon. This person will establish the initial bond and authority over the service dog. The rest of the family will be trained in phase two, on site in their own home. For more information, see the training section on For Families.Unfortunately, pets have an established role within the family and a transition to service dog status is often unsuccessful. In addition, many breeds do not have the interest or aptitude to be a service dog. ASDA dogs must possess a particular temperament, intelligence, health, age and weight, and are raised from puppy-hood for their important job.While our dogs are socialized to accept other animals, your dog or cat might not accept a new canine member into the family. We recommend that you evaluate your pets’ ability to accept and tolerate a new canine household member. If you are thinking of adding a pet after you receive an ASDA service dog, remember that additional pets require time and effort.Yes. By federal law (Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA) a service dog is allowed access to any environment your disabled child is allowed access: schools, parks, doctor’s offices, restaurants, beaches, movie theaters, etc. And while the dog may go out on occasion without the child, the child does not go anywhere without his or her service dog. Time together solidifies the relationship, keeps skills sharp, and helps the child grow in life skills—time together is not only permissible, but necessary.Yes. Again, under the ADA law, there are no exceptions to where a service dog is allowed.Yes. ASDA has open communication with all recipient families. Most situations can be handled by phone or email communication.Yes, but advanced or specialized training usually requires on-site training by a representative of ASDA. Costs vary.