Project Chance
Project Chance



How Our Dogs Help

The unconditional love and emotional support given by a service dog are immensely helpful to the child with autism and his  or her family. By simply being there, a service dog provides the  calming reassurance to its child who may be experiencing sensory  overload, a common component of autism. 

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Aspects of Autism

Social Skills

Many children with autism have difficulty  relating to people, including their families. Some kids make strange  noises, are non-verbal or engage in compulsive, repetitive behavior.  These behaviors can and often do, alienate people, especially classmates  who can be incredibly cruel. A service dog opens the door to social  interaction because people want to pet it or ask questions. A service  dog can serve as a bridge to the outside world, by being a companion  providing unconditional love and support in challenging social  situations.

The kindness and gentleness of the autism service dog helps a child just by being by his or her side. Our dogs are specifically  trained to meet the individual needs of its child, helping the child  develop social norms and reach his or her full potential. 

Sensory Overload

When a child becomes emotionally overwhelmed and inconsolable, their dog soothes them. That’s when the parents bring the child to  the dog and have them start petting their dog.  Sometimes the dog lays on the child instantly calming them down, allowing everyone else to  become calm as well.

When by its child’s side, an autism service  dog helps by giving him or her a focal point, or a way to ground their  random, unceasing environmental experiences.

Running or Wandering

Wandering and a lack of awareness  regarding personal safety, which may result in a child walking into  traffic, are also key behavioral aspects of autism. Autism service dogs  are trained to keep a child from bolting. Ultimately,  the child holds a handle from the dog’s harness and an adult holds the  leash.

As a family gets involved with the customized training, we want a child to become self-sufficient. By incorporating that ideal, the child will be trained to be responsible for the safety of the dog, hence, one's self with adult supervision if needed. 

Our Gracious Donors


Riverside Hospital Foundation Charitable Fund    The Liz Weaver Foundation, Inc.   Puff Darlin   Chris & Jan McCormick   Karen Putzke   David & Karen Frances   Carolyn & Doug Greene