Springfield, Oregon, December 3, 2016 (Newswire.com) - December 3 is a life-changing day for 5-year old James of Springfield, Oregon, as Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers delivers his new Autism Service Dog “Dave.” Based in 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 James—Autism Spectrum Disorder. Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, “SDWR” has over 500 service dogs working across the US and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving almost 1,000 families.
Dave has already received thousands of hours of training as Autism service dog 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. Dave will continue to learn under the careful guidance of a certified trainer from SDWR and through the rapport he develops with Dave and his parents, Paige and Tim, at their home in Springfield.
James faces the daily challenges associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. “We have a real problem with elopement with James,” states his mom Paige. “He runs into the street, in front of cars and doesn't recognize danger from anything. And James is non verbal and so he can't communicate needs which leads him to feel so frustrated that he emotionally melts down.”
These are but a few of the common challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 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 fewer sensory overloads, ‘meltdowns,’ smiled more frequently, and had less frustration when around their service dog.” Autism service dogs are also trained to redirect away from repetitive and sometimes harmful behaviors as well as prevent elopement. James will be tethered to his dog, Dave, whenever he is out in public places and the service dog is trained to not allow James to move away from his parents.
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 safety aspect was a huge relief for families as parents’ anxiety over their child can lead to social isolation.” That is something James’ mother Paige hopes will help her family. “We can’t go eat at restaurants or be involved in community events because it is just too much for James. So our goal is that Dave can help us live a fuller life by helping James cope with being out in public.”
With the arrival of Dave, James and his parents 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 James is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany James everywhere—from restaurants to shopping to going to school with James every day. Dave will keep James safe.
Dave will continue to work with the SDWR trainers and with Paige and Tim in their home to learn new skills to assist James as well as to achieve public access certification. Certification must be achieved by James and his handlers—in this case, Paige and Tim. 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 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/. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities/ .
Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers