Autism.pw mainly focuses on providing information about autism, but since I started this website I have wanted to expand this website into more areas. So today I will be covering a non-profit charity who trains service dogs.
Dream Fetchers is a non-profit charity based in both Huntington Beach, California and East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The charity visits hospitals, veteran homes and other organisations with dogs who are registered service dogs. Colleen Brophy, Dream Fetchers director of training, starts a class with 8 clients and their dogs on the 5th of January and the charity has more than 10 people waiting to train their dogs after that class. Most of the charities clients are autistic (some verbal and some non-verbal).
There are at least 4 organisations who want Dream Fetchers to start a therapy program with them. It takes about 8 months to a year to train a dog for therapy and longer for a service dog.
According to Dream Fetchers, “miracles happen with these dogs. A boy opened his eyes for the dogs a week after surgery. He would not open them for the doctor or his parents. One girl smiled for the first time in months. My autistic son was getting agitated in a noisy crowded room, Harlan, one of the service dogs, sensed it, moved closer, and gave my son a nudge with his nose. My son hugged him and was calmed.”
One of the dogs’ did movie in Rhode Island about a young autistic man, “Randys Canvas. www.randyscanvas.org.
You can find the contract details of Dream Fetchers here: http://www.dreamfetchers.org/contactus.html
If you have any feedback of questions about this article please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.
The charity was founded and is run by Debbie Pearl. The East Coast Offices are directed by Cherrilynn Bisbano, the person in the picture is her son Michael Bisbano (Permission to use the image was given by Cherrilynn Bisbano).