Highly Trained Autism Service Dog to Help Twin Daughters Age Six in Chester, Maryland

Six-year old twin girls living in Chester, Maryland, received a very special Autism Service Dog delivery today from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers.

Press Release updated: Oct 19, 2017 18:00 EDT

Caitlyn and Riley, six-year-old twin girls living in Chester, Maryland, received a very special Autism Service Dog delivery today from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Caitlyn and Riley—Autism Spectrum Disorder. SDWR has nearly 600 service dogs working across the US and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving nearly 1,000 families.

Jillian, a golden retriever Autism Service Dog, has already received countless hours of training through SDWR’s service dog in training raiser program where volunteers raise puppies in training for approximately one year. The dogs and raisers must follow through the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia.

Caitlyn and Riley were diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at age 3. Caitlyn also suffers from anxiety and is verbal, but does a lot of scripting. Riley is almost completely nonverbal but has 10 emerging words, so her family is hopeful. Caitlyn and Riley’s mother, Emily, says while describing their diagnosis, “Riley does some self harming-bangs her head on things and hits herself when she gets frustrated. It is mostly due to being nonverbal. Caitlyn’s eloping is the biggest concern. Also, we are mostly housebound with them and would love to get out in the community more.” Caitlyn and Riley’s family sought out an Autism Service Dog to give Caitlyn and Riley more tools to cope with his everyday difficulties while also providing them with some additional peace of mind.

Riley does some self harming-bangs her head on things and hits herself when she gets frustrated. It is mostly due to being nonverbal. Caitlyn’s eloping is biggest concern. Also, we are mostly housebound with them and would love to get out in the community more.

Emily, Mother of Service Dog Recipients

Jillian will work with Caitlyn and Riley and their family to provide practical and emotional support for issues like elopement, overstimulation, and sleep patterns. Since Jillian is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, she will help their family begin to spend more time outside the home despite stimuli that may be stressful to Caitlyn and Riley. SDWR will continue to work with Caitlyn and Riley’s parents and Jillian, to train for specific needs they may have. This training program at SDWR is what sets them apart from other non-profit service dog organizations. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Caitlyn and Riley, their family and Jillian for the next 18 months every 3-4 months to continue developing Jillian’s skills to best fit their lifestyle and Caitlyn and Riley’s disability.

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, “Until the Puzzle’s Solved …There’s a dog.” To make a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org.

To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism/. To find out how you can volunteer as a service dog in training raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities/.

Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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