26 Feb 2016

Setting The Record Straight With SDWR Autism Service Dogs

Because SDWR is not a stranger to criticism we’d like to share an SDWR Autism Service Dog review with you. In our fast paced world, no organization is immune to online discussions and that’s why we feel it’s time to set the record straight. Unfortunately, there are some organizations out there who give Autism Service Dogs a bad reputation. At SDWR, we want you to know that we are not one of them. We are a Not-For-Profit organization that dedicates it’s time and resources to training service dogs that are backed by a lifetime training guarantee. Have you ever had someone spread false information about you? Didn’t you want the opportunity to set the record straight? Please take a minute to read one woman’s SDWR review about her family’s Autism Service Dog.

SDWR Reviews: Autism Service Dog Charlie

Dear Friend Of SDWR,

I’m writing to update you on our satisfaction with SDWR and how much Charlie has enriched our lives in his role as an Autism Service Dog.

As of today, Charlie has been with us 18 months. From the first day of delivery, Charlie respected Rebecca’s differences and understood she needed a different approach from the other kids. He was drawn to her without any specialized training to do so and knew just how to make his introduction, as if he had read a book about children with autism. Their relationship has grown over the past 18 months. When we travel he is often on her lap in the car and making her burst out in laughter. When we go out in public her behavior is more appropriate and she is less likely to spin, wander, and make random vocalizations. When she has her meltdowns, he is at the ready, willing to intervene, even neutralizing an ongoing tantrum in seconds with a few nudges to the cheek and licks to the face. Mostly commonly I find her with him petting him with her feet as she rests on the sofa or the bed, reading a book, watching TV, or laughing at the visions she sees I her head that I am not aware of.

While I expected all the above between Charlie and Rebecca, what I did not anticipate was the therapeutic effect Charlie would have upon the entire family nor the amazing and ongoing support of our SDWR family. Since his arrival, the overall stress level of the entire family and me in particular, has dramatically de-escalated. The sense of calm he provides to me is simply amazing and when Rebecca has her meltdowns I can see that he knows he is working for me as well as her. The SDWR community is simply incredible. From you, the trainers, the support staff, and the other families, I have formed lifelong bonds with people I have never even met in person. We celebrate accomplishments and support one another through our challenges. The trainers are personable, confident, and knowledgeable and within just a few hours of delivery feel like family.

Our decision to go with SDWR, after researching several groups that provide Autism Service Dogs, was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. From our first phone call you communicated to me the benefits we could expect from adding an Autism Service Dog go our family, but also frankly communicated how much work would be involved in the process. I truly appreciated that frankness and used it to weigh the pros and cons. The support we have had throughout the training process was that which I would not have received from the other groups I researched. Now that Charlie has passed his Public Access Test, our relationship has not ended. Just today we met our trainer and two local families for lunch with their SDWR Autism Service Dogs. Through SDWR we have joined a most wonderful community that supports one another and advocates for not only ourselves and each other, but also the families who will join the SDWR family in the future.

Thank you so much, SDWR, for making your vision come to reality. You have played an important role in enriching the lives of our entire family.

Samantha, mother of 11yo Rebecca and handler of Charlie, SDWR Autism Service Dog