Highly Trained Autism Service Dog to Assist 11-Year-Old Child in Livingston, New Jersey

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers delivers a custom trained Autism Service Dog to eleven-year-old Aiden in Livingston, New Jersey.

Chelsea, a labradoodle Autism Service Dog, has already received thousands of hours of training

​​​Aiden, an eleven-year-old boy in Livingston, NJ, received a very special Autism Service Dog delivery today from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide custom trained service dogs for individuals of all ages with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Aiden—Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2016, SDWR has experienced amazing growth and in addition to over 600 working dogs already placed, there are over 400 families enrolled in our program awaiting their dog delivery. What makes SDWR so unique, is that they have no age restrictions and none of the enrolled families ever travel in order to receive their service dog or participate in team training.

In addition to specially-bred golden and labrador retrievers, SDWR also places doodles on a required medical necessity when validated by the organization with the recipient’s doctor. Chelsea, a labradoodle Autism Service Dog, has already received countless hours of training through SDWR’s service dog raiser program where volunteers raise puppies in training for approximately one year. The dogs and raisers must follow through the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia. 

It's very hard for him to navigate in this world socially.

Romy, Mother of Service Dog Recipient

Chelsea is also a very special graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program. The Fallen Officer Puppy Program, or “FOPP”, is an initiative by SDWR that began in 2016 to honor the legacy of American police officers who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Chelsea is named in honor of fallen Trooper Chelsea Renee Richard who served with the Florida Highway Patrol was struck and killed by a vehicle while investigating an accident on I-75 in May of 2014. Chelsea's Autism Service Dog work with Aiden will carry on in memoriam of Officer Chelsea’s life of service and sacrifice.

Aiden was diagnosed with Autism PDD-NOS and Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder the age of two-years-old. Aiden dislikes going most places due to his anxiety and lack of flexibility. He also faces some sensory challenges in that Aiden does not like loud noises, odd smells, and gets overstimulated when there are a lot of people around. Aiden’s mother, Romy, explains the impact of Aiden’s Autism in that, “It's very hard for him to navigate in this world socially.”

Aiden’s family is hoping that by having a highly-trained Autism Service Dog like Chelsea it will help give Aiden the confidence and freedom he needs to face everyday challenges. Chelsea is equipped to help Aiden cope with his daily struggles by providing him comfort and a resource to keep him safe. As a working service dog, Chelsea is trained to be a calming force when Aiden is having a tantrum. Chelsea will also provide Aiden and his family with some additional peace of mind and will provide Aiden with companionship and help with his anxieties throughout his day. Chelsea will work with Aiden and his parents to provide practical and emotional support for issues like difficulty sleeping and remaining engaged in activities. Since Chelsea is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), he will be able to accompany Aiden and his family everywhere—from restaurants, to the park, to running daily errands with his family, even traveling on airplanes and going to the beach for vacations.  

SDWR will continue to work with Aiden’s family and Chelsea to train for specific needs they may have. What sets SDWR apart from other non-profit service dog organizations is this highly customized and tailored training program. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Aiden, his parents and Chelsea for the next 18 months every 3-4 months to continue developing Chelsea’s skills to best fit their lifestyle and Aiden’s disability.

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, “Until the Puzzle's Solved …there’s a dog.”  To make or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism/.

Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers

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