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Autism Partners Program

In January 2007 a decision was made to add an additional program for children on the autism spectrum.  This program has  far exceeded our expectations, not only with its success but with its rapid growth.

Training dogs for children with autism  presents several unique challenges.  All Purpose Canines believes strongly in using a team approach when placing a service dog with a child with autism. This team will include parents, family members, educators and health care professionals.

When the dog is fully trained and ready for placement, it will be necessary for the child and a parent to travel to our trainers for  the team training and certification. Included in the training will be learning basic commands, care of the dog, how to "read" the dog and basic tracking skills if needed. This will be an excellent opportunity for trainers and parents to work and concentrate on any specific issues or areas of concern.

When you return home with your dog our trainers  will be available to answer any questions or concerns that  you may have.   Educators, health care professionals, etc. are encouraged to contact us if they have any questions. It is crucial to the success of the service dog team that everyone understands  the service dog concept as it relates to children with autism. A strong bond is part of the reason a service dog can be a successful aid. Therefore, if for no other reason, it is imperative the service dog is allowed to accompany a person with autism to school, work and throughout the community. Requiring the child to be away from their service dog for several hours every day could be harmful to that relationship and therefore damaging to the child. In addition, by "thinking outside the box" it is our belief that the dog can be used effectively in many learning environments and therapy sessions enabling a child with autism greater independence and inclusion within his/her community.

The goal of this program is to address several issues confronting the child diagnosed with autism and his/her family. Some of these issues include, but are not limited to, the following:

Improve safety - prevent the child from leaving the home, etc.
Teach Responsibility - provide basic care (feeding and brushing)
Improve Social Skills - presence of the dog may help to promote socialization in ways that have not yet been possible
  Relieve Parental Stress
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