Autism Service Dog Program
(Age Requirement 10-22 yrs)
To Apply for an Autism Service Dog (provided at NO COST), please visit our Applications Page
Please Note: We do not train medical alert service dogs.
According to the CDC, 1 in 68 children are reported to be on the autism spectrum in the United States. Family's struggle every day with stressful challenges and tasks many take for granted. David "Dogman" Riggs and Team K9 Care provides a safe and positive approach that has been proven successful for decreasing stress for families and children facing autism. To optimize success, we combine the benefits of the great outdoors and the interaction with service dogs. Our team and participants have experienced positive life changing success with our programs and events. In addition to our service dog program, in a vacation atmosphere, K9 Care Montana provides a customized outdoor program to meet each family's needs and expectations.
For stories on how K9CM has helped children within the Autism Spectrum,visit our Media Page.
By encouraging positive based outdoor activities and events, K9 Care sets the stage for many improvements without the distraction from outside stimuli which often is absorbed and causes a child to have a sensory overload. In addition we provide further evidence which shows that dogs can produce a calming effect in some children, without the side effects caused by some medications. Other benefits include improved socialization with siblings/other children, eye contact, assistance with communication, increased verbalization and much more. Children with autism seem to relate to a dog better than to a human. We have documented highly trained service dogs assisting ABA therapist, accomplishing goals just by using a dog that responds to hand signals. The only requirement is the child likes dogs. There is further evidence cortisol (stress hormone) decreases in the presence of a K9 companion for both family and children with autism.
K9 Care Montana has never claimed to be a miracle cure; however, we have achieved great success with some children who have been considered runners, non-verbal, repeaters and other challenging behaviors that come with being on the autism spectrum. Our approach is considered as an alternative treatment for autism. In some cases, the child with autism has medications that have been decreased if not halted all together as a result.
We welcome new families and participants. As Team K9 Care Montana continues its mission, we need your help. We provide this service at no cost. Your donation goes directly to the cause. We invite autism organizations throughout the United States to contact us regarding program presentations, participation and availabilities. All K9 Care events and activities are funded by K9 Care Montana annual fundraising efforts and associated sub committees.