Animals for Autism is dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children with ASDs by matching them with well trained, certified service animals that can improve their quality of life, socially, emotionally and personally.
Just as every person with an ASD is unique, so is every placement we make. From the very beginning, your child or loved one is our primary focus. We will sit down with you to discuss the special needs and expectations you have from us and the animals we place, and that personalized service will remain available to you for the duration of the training phase, the placement phase and the ongoing support phase of the program.
Many programs require payment in full before the process even begins. We believe that is an unrealistic expectation on families whose finances are frequently overtaxed to begin with. To solve this problem, we have flexible terms with one option that allow families to submit payments at regular intervals over the entire course of the training.
This gives families extra time to raise funds, schedule events and contact possible donors during the months leading up to the final placement of the Autism Service Animal.
About Our Staff
Our Trainers' combined experience includes:
A Master Trainer with over 25 years' experience.
An animal behavior specialist with over 40 years of hands-on experience.
Several direct service providers for individuals with autism.
A trainer who has an autism spectrum disorder. -and-
The Director of a social service agency.
The needs of individuals with ASDs are unique and very unlike those with other disabilities, and it is critical for the training team to have that knowledge so the proper behavior cues and controls can be taught to the service animals.
Part of our vision is to be able to provide an Autism Service Animal to everyone who has a need for one. Our access to resources and volunteers allows us to cover most of the costs associated with providing Autism Service Animals.
The only costs associated with acquiring one of our animals are for the training hours required to prepare them for a career as service animals. In addition, our trainers have greatly reduced their normal fees to make owning an Autism Service Animal a reality for more families than ever before. We also keep our fees lower by:
Screening and testing donated AKC and UKC puppies for a careers as service animals
Securing funding for all veterinary expenses prior to placement
Securing funding for spay/neuter procedures prior to placement
Securing "foster care" for the animals' socialization prior to placement
Offering visits to the recipient and his/her family to meet their animal to help them form an early bond.
Providing a consistent diet of nutritionally balanced, high quality food for the animal for the duration of the training program
Securing funding for all immunizations prior to placement
Providing a crate or "den" the animal is familiar with
Securing donated equipment - tethers, leashes, collars, harnesses, etc.
Providing micro-chipping prior to placement
Providing a "working vest" for the animal
Providing proper credentials, documentation and health records at the time of placement
Providing a week of intensive training to the recipient to maximize the benefit of the service animal when it is placed. Travel may be required of the recipient to Springfield, IL for final phase.
The actual cost to raise and train a highly-qualified, ADA compliant Autism Service Animal is about $20,000*.
By privately funding all of the medical care, various incidentals, foster care and all of the animal's other expenses, we are able to provide our Autism Service Dogs for as little as $5000.