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May 19, 2022
4 mins read
Ryan doesn’t go anywhere without his four-legged friend, Lukey. After waiting for over 3 years to
take Lukey home, the Gaull family is confident knowing Ryan has a trained service dog keeping
safe and always supported.
Ryan was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is usually diagnosed early in a
child’s life, based on communicative and development milestones, that can present obstacles
during one’s imperative childhood years. *In Canada, an estimated 1 of every 66 youth are
diagnosed with ASD. Symptoms
include repetitive behaviours, cognitive impairments and delayed language or communication
skills. Individuals diagnosed often have low self-esteem, feel isolated and frustrated by
symptoms that can affect their school, work or home life.
However, they’re not defined by the disorder, and with a matched service dog, Ontario youth with
autism can receive the help they
need, offering safety, companionship and independence for themselves and their families.
It takes approximately
for a family to receive a service dog after applying, due to a large wait list and minimal
Services is an organization servicing southwestern and other parts of
southern Ontario families
who are looking to apply for a service dog that has trained specifically to support youth on the
spectrum throughout everyday life and challenges and emotions. Service dogs start training at 8
weeks old and after approximately 2 years, they graduate and are placed with a family who is on
While it’s tempting to approach and pet every dog we see, service dogs and those currently in
training require specific actions. It’s important to know what to do when in the presence of a
service dog and their handler.
As an Energizing Life Community Fund recipient, Autism Dog Services is receiving
funding from Hydro One to match more dogs with families in need. Watch the video to meet Ryan,
his dog Lukey, and learn how imperative service dogs are to supporting youth by providing
comfort during a crisis and helping them find independence along the way.
519.722.2685 | www.autismdogservices.ca
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