Center Valley, Pennsylvania, June 12, 2017 (Newswire.com) - Ten-year-old Connor of Center Valley, Pennsylvania, is having a special day today as Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers delivered his Autism Service Dog “Chance” today. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers has a mission to provide specially bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like diabetes, PTSD, seizure disorders, or in the case of Connor — autism spectrum disorder. Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (“SDWR”) has almost 600 service dogs working across the U.S. and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving almost 1,000 families.
Chance, a golden retriever Autism Service Dog, has already received thousands of hours of training through SDWR’s puppy raiser training program where volunteers raise puppies in training for about a period of one year and then through the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia. Chance will continue to learn under the careful guidance of a certified trainer from SDWR and through the rapport he develops with Connor and his mom, Stacey.
Connor was diagnosed with Autism at just three years of age. Connor has anxiety in social situations, gets upset and frustrated easily — sometimes leading to self-harm. He also has sleep issues and sometimes “wanders.” These are but a few of the common challenges of autism spectrum disorder. Autism service dogs are trained to prevent elopement for those times when Connor wanders. Connor will be tethered to Chance whenever he is out in public places and Chance is trained to not allow Connor to move away from his mom.
New scientific research studies into autism therapy provide positive evidence of the difference a service dog can make. Dan Warren states, “The studies showed children experienced better sleep patterns, exhibited greater communication and social interaction, and had less frustration when around their service dog.” One of the main goals when training an autism service dog is the need to keep a child safe and calm. According to Mr. Warren, “The studies further found that the safety aspect was a huge relief for families as parents’ anxiety over their child can lead to social isolation.”
With the arrival of Chance, Connor and her mom will have yet another tool, a four-legged one that has received training to assist him to live a happier and more enriching life. Since Chance is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Connor everywhere — from restaurants to shopping to eventually going to school with him every day.
Chance will continue to work with the SDWR trainers and with Connor to learn new skills to assist Connor as well as to achieve public access certification. Certification must be achieved by Chance and his handler — in this case, Stacey. Dan Warren is quick to point out that, “all the incredible services these dogs can provide are through progression, hard work and dedication of the organization and the family who must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals. This is about an 18-month program for follow up and customization training.”
What sets SDWR apart from other non-profit service dog organizations are the customized training methods and SDWR matches dogs to their “person.” According to Dan Warren, “that important bonding time between dog and person can begin to happen right away. For nearly a decade we’ve been utilizing this method of dog placement and we’ve achieved amazing results.”
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 there’s a cure … there’s a dog.” To make a 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. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.
Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers