Trained Autism Service Dog to Help Eight-Year-Old Cope With Disability


Connor, an eight-year-old in Ash Flat, Arkansas, 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 specially-bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Taylor — Autism Spectrum Disorder. SDWR has nearly 600 service dogs working across the U.S. and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving nearly 1,000 families.

Morgan, a golden retriever Autism Service Dog, has already received countless hours of training through SDWR's service dog raiser program where volunteers raise puppies in training for about a period of one year. The dogs and raisers must follow through the foundation and skillset training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia.

Morgan 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 to honor the legacy of service by American police who have fallen in the line of duty. Morgan is named in honor of fallen officer Detective Michael Morgan, Jr., from the Newark Police Department in New Jersey who died by gunfire in 2011. Detective Morgan was attempting to take action during a robbery while off duty.  Conor's Autism Service Dog's work with Conor will carry on in memoriam of Officer Morgan's life of service and sacrifice.

Conor was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at two-and-a-half-years-old. He also suffers from sensory processing disorder and speech apraxia that negatively impact his development and social skills and ability to communicate everyday needs or emotions. When describing his diagnosis, Conor's mother, Roxanne said, "Autism not only affects Conor, but his entire family. He may look like a typical kid, but the layers of difficulty with this diagnosis are deep, and we are continuing to tread through this complex disability." Conor's family sought out an autism service dog to give Conor more tools to cope with his everyday difficulties while also providing them with some additional peace of mind.

Morgan will work with Conor and his parents to provide practical and emotional support for issues like elopement, overstimulation, and sleep patterns. Since Morgan is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will help their family begin to spend more time outside the home despite stimuli that may be stressful to Conor. SDWR will continue to work with Conor's parents and Morgan, to train for specific needs they may have. This training program is what sets SDWR apart from other non-profit service dog organizations. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Conor, his parents and Morgan for the next 18 months every 3-4 months to continue developing Morgan's skills to best fit their lifestyle and Conor'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 a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit

Source: Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers