Is a service dog right for your child?

Not every child with autism will benefit from a service dog. We screen and evaluate each situation individually. Our goal is to ensure a successful match for the child, the family and the service dog. This section will provide you with information on the application and approval process.

Demand for specialized service dogs for autism is growing rapidly. These dogs go everywhere with their recipients. Autism service dogs assist children with all activities, including attending school in most occasions. Under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), there are no exceptions to where a service dog is allowed; all public places must allow access. It is important for families to work with ASDA staff and school administration to address the placement of a service dog into the school. During the placement process, ASDA will assist families in navigating the incorporation of the service dog into all aspects of their lives.

While some agencies place their dogs with families at the puppy stage, we believe the dogs should reach adulthood and be fully trained first. It is not necessary to receive the dog at a very young age in order for bonding to occur. It is also important to remember that while the dog will become a trusted member or your family, its purpose is as a service animal, not a pet. It is through that relationship that mutual respect and affection develop.