Dog for children with ASD

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Providing a Companion for a Youth with ASD

The Mira Foundation program provides service dogs for young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Learn about what impact a service dog can have on the development of a young person with ASD, and the program’s admission criteria.

What is the service dog program for youth with ASD?

The Mira Schola program was launched in 2010 to help the families of children with ASD.

Studies conducted by the Mira Foundation have shown that service dogs provide many benefits for young people with ASD and their families, both physically and mentally.

More specifically, they help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve the quality of sleep, language skills and socialization.

Our program has the following objectives:

  • Help young persons with ASD come out of their shells and reach maximum autonomy.
  • Equip and support the parents and relatives of youth with ASD.
  • Engage in research to advance knowledge and practices relating to developmental disorders.
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What are the admission criteria for the service dog program for youth with ASD?

Here are the main criteria to receive a service dog as part of the program for children with ASD:

  • The young person with ASD must be under the age of 21
  • Provide a recent ASD diagnosis evaluation report (Please have a report filled out by your doctor before proceeding with your request)
  • Certify the absence of dog allergies in the family
  • Certify that no other dog lives in the home at the time of the assignment
  • The young person with ASD must show interest in the dog
  • Be sure to never leave the dog alone and always include it in daily activities

Program sequence

Evaluation

The program is available for children, adolescents and young adults with an ASD, under the age of 21. The attribution of a service dog requires increased involvement of the young beneficiary’s parents.

After having analyzed the request, we hold an evaluation meeting at our offices to determine the youth’s eligibility. This meeting aims to better identify the youth’s needs and assess his or her level of interest in the dog.

Training

According to the program’s time frame, the designated parent is invited to take a 7-day course at our facilities.

The class has 8 students. It focuses on dog handling and requires the parent’s involvement 24 hours a day. If the beneficiary is too young to take the course, it will be offered to the designated parent.

During the training, Mira houses beneficiaries and their parents, and provides three free meals per day to all participants.

Follow-Up

At the end of the stay, a Mira Schola program coach will follow up at the beneficiary’s home to ensure the service dog’s optimal integration in the family environment.

Apply now

If you believe that our service dog program for youth with ASD could meet the needs of your child, we invite you to fill out our application form and attach a recent ASD diagnosis evaluation report.

Apply now

Testimonials

A video of a young girl that has a dog from the Mira program for young child with TSA.