A 7-year-old little girl in Riva, MD named Caroline received a very special delivery of her very own Autism Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, also known as “SDWR.”
Press Release, Riva, MD, July 17, 2018 – Caroline, a 7-year old girl living in Riva, Maryland, received a very special delivery last week. An Autism Service Dog was delivered to Caroline from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers to help assist her and better communicate her needs on the spectrum. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for people with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Caroline – Autism Spectrum Disorder. SDWR has hundreds of service dogs working across the US and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving approximately 1,000 families.
Casper, a labrador retriever Autism Service Dog, recently graduated from SDWR’s Service Dog Raiser Program where volunteers diligently raise puppies in training for over the course of approximately one year. Both the dogs and raisers must complete the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at their facility in Virginia.
Casper is also an honored graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program. The Fallen Officer Puppy Program, or “FOPP,” is an initiative by SDWR to pay respect to the legacy of service by fallen American police who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Casper is named in honor of fallen Trooper Trevor John Casper of the Wisconsin State Patrol was shot and killed in 2015 while attempting to apprehend a bank robbery and murder suspect. Casper’s Autism Service Dog work with Caroline will carry on in memoriam of Trooper Casper’s life of service before self.
Caroline is non-verbal and was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at 2-years-old. Caroline’s other diagnoses include encephalopathy, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, and ADHD. Caroline often experiences issues of elopement and she does not understand danger and is also attracted to water. She does now know to stay out of the street and has a tendency to elope in order to avoid non-preferred activities at school. Caroline also has problems with focusing on tasks and has lots of rituals to follow in her day-to-day living.
Caroline’s family is hopeful that with the arrival of Casper it will help keep her safe and away from danger in addition in helping keep her calm. Her family’s goal is to give Caroline a greater sense of confidence with her service dog at her side every day. Casper will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Caroline. Since Casper is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Caroline and his family everywhere – like hiking, to the beach, school, and even to field hockey practice and games.
SDWR’s unique training program is what sets them apart from other non-profit service dog organizations. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Caroline, her family, and Casper every 3-4 months over the course of the next 18 months to continue working on Casper’s customized training, follow up training and training the human to make a successful team and public access certification.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure… there’s a dog.” To make or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, https://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs go to https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism/. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities/.