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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

First-Grader With Autism To Get Service Dog
December 12, 2003

LACOMBE, ALBERTA--Six-year-old son Matthew Girard will soon become one of the few children with autism in Canada to have a specially-trained service dog.

"It’s amazing," said his mother, Danielle, who applied for the assistant dog a year and half ago. "I’m still in shock that we’ve been accepted. The thought of this dog and all the things we’ll be able to do that we haven’t been able to do to this point is very exciting."

The dog has just started its training at National Service Dogs, a non-profit registered charity in Ontario. According to a recent story in the Lacombe Globe, NSD is the only place in North America that trains dogs specifically to help children with autism.

The dog will be taught to keep Matthew from running away or into traffic. It will let Matthew's mother know if there is any danger. It will also provide companionship for the first grader.

"Autistic child soon to have a new best friend" (Lacombe Globe)
National Service Dogs -- Toronto, Ontario


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