Service Dog for Xander

Xander  is a 13 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome, which is high functioning autism.  He has difficulty in social situations and with making friends because he cannot read social or facial cues.  He is unable to do many activities that other children take for granted because of his frustration issues and meltdowns.  Children with autism who have service dogs tend to make remarkable gains.  The dogs help calm them when a meltdown is coming on, provide companionship that they are missing from peers, and help them reduce their frustrations so they can participate in activities with other children.  The service dog will also make it easier for him to interact with other children and will draw children to him because of the dog.  We decided to get a puppy that we would train as a service dog when she got old enough.  We wanted her and Xander to have a strong bond when the training started.  We got Rubicon (Ruby) when she was 8 weeks old.  She is black lab/irish setter.  She is now 6 months old and will start her official training in six months.  Since training is costly, we are seeking help from others to help defray the cost.  We are looking at the minmum training of 30 weeks, which is $6000, through Southland Dog Training .
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Heather Strauss 
Orlando, FL
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