Service Dog Training Program to Address Your Child's Needs
When someone in your family is diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, brain malformation, stroke, traumatic injury, or another serious condition, your entire world changes. Life is rearranged around your child and their special needs. Families continually have to juggle appointments with specialists, going to therapies, and working on things, such as communication, social, and behavior skills. Balance, coordination, and recognizing and mitigating seizure activity also become issues to deal with.
SDCD understands these struggles. We believe that a bond between a child and their dog begins in the early stages of training for both the dog and the child. At SDCD, we specialize in training that specifically handles the challenges your child faces so that one of our dogs can become a constant companion for them. We are dedicated to providing the best service dog to your child, as well as to your entire family. We serve clients throughout the Western United States.
How Service Dogs Can Help
How can Service Dogs for Children with Disabilities help your child? Service dogs help children overcome the limitations of their disabilities and the barriers in their environments. Scientific research has begun to validate the role of service dogs for children with disabilities. In 1995, a 2-year study by Dr. Karen Allen, found that people with disabilities who had service dogs scored higher for psychological well-being, self-esteem, community integration, and the amount of control they could exert over their environment. In addition, the number of personal assistant (human) hours required for care decreased by an average of 78%. This represents significant potential savings in health care costs. Other studies support the findings of improved self-esteem, independence, and social acceptance.
When living with a trained service dog, children with physical disabilities experience improved self-esteem and psychological well-being. When disabled children go out in public with their service dogs, individuals in the community are much friendlier toward them, which serves as an incentive for the disabled child to go out more often. Disabled children who own service dogs, thus become more active socially and attend school more often; they also require less assistance from caregivers, including paid health care workers, family, and friends.
Service dogs assist children with a variety of disabilities including but not limited to: spinal cord and head injuries, muscular dystrophy, post-polio syndrome, arthritis, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and chronic pain disorders.
The Service Dogs for Children with Disabilities (SDCD) program is based on Assistance Dogs International service dog standards (ADI is an international organization that provides minimum standard for training service & therapy dogs) to help disabled children gain the independence they so greatly deserve. These dogs are taught to pick up dropped items from the floor, open doors, turn on light switches, provide balance, pull wheelchairs, and can even be taught to sort laundry! These special canines are taught anywhere from 30-90 commands over a one-year period before being placed with their future life partner.
If you have an interest in applying for a Service Dog for your child, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
Pets to Service Dogs Program
SDCD is dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities by developing our training criteria for service dogs through our Pets to Service Dogs program. In order to provide an increased independence for the disabled person and/or for their caregivers, we offer training for dogs already in the home of the disabled person whenever possible.
Adherence to Industry Principles and Standards
We have developed one of the highest set of training standards in the service dog industry by adopting the principles of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP), the American Kennel Club (AKC), and AKC's Canine Good Citizen program.
We also consult and follow recommendations of leading medical communities to ensure that treatment goals are being met. A behavior analyst and a trainer, along with a member of the medical community review all of our standards and curriculum to ensure they exceed the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Training for All Different Needs
We offer private training for owners and/or caregivers. Training includes teaching task training, such as retrieving dropped items, hearing alerts, stability or mobility assistance, opening or closing doors, customized tasks, diabetic alerts, and public access training. We specialize in PTSD, seizure detection, and other types of assistance dogs. We do not train Seeing Eye dogs.