Autism Dog Services is a family centered program that focuses on helping the whole family benefit from our program. We provide all of our service dogs with training in natural home environments, support all of our placements in family homes, and we provide focused service to all of our client families.
Home-Trained Service Dogs
All of our service dogs are raised in homes from puppyhood until they have completed their socialization and training and are paired with the family and child they will be assisting. ADS dogs live in stress-free conditions that allow them to reach their full potential. Once the dogs are moved to staff homes for advanced training, the Training Instructors get to know each dog in a very personal way. This close personal connection helps staff to make the best match possible for each family on the ADS wait list.
ADS provides local placements in the most parts of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and parts of Southwestern Ontario in order to be able to stay closely connected with all service dog recipients. Staff are regularly out in the community training service dogs, visiting clients, and instructing educators and are available for support when required. Our goal is to have our service dog teams be as successful as possible.
Approved families are required to complete seven mandatory specialized Service Dog Education Workshops upon approval with the goal of helping them gain the knowledge and skills needed to make the service dog successful once it joins the family home.
Families with service dogs are required to attend one Graduate Refresher Training Workshop each year to polish up their skills and connect with ADS staff for support.
ADS provides in-home placement of the service dog once a family reaches the top of the waiting list and a match has been determined by staff. Further training, support and instruction is done at the home and community. Families will be required to take time off to meet staff for follow-up and may be required to travel to locations determined by the Training Instructor during the initial placement of the service dog.
ADS fosters close working relationships with all the families who are waiting to receive service dogs. Staff aim to build a strong partnership with each family during their wait time and our goal is to have that continue when each family receives their service dog until the dog's retirement.
Autism Specific Resources
ADS provides autism specific Educational Manuals to families and educators upon the service dog placement. Other resouces provided are social narrative samples, task strips and training videography along with video modeling to help children with autism work on daily tasks with their service dogs.
ADS places dogs with children in between the ages of three to 18 years of age. ADS does not require an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to be considered for our program. If a child has challenges which present in a similar manner to Autism we will evaluate the need to determine if a service dog would provide beneficial support to the child.