by Laura Sylvester
Drake is the first facility dog placement by Good Dog! Autism Companions. Our gratitude goes out to The Drake Center for Veterinary Care for all of their fundraising efforts that helped make it all possible. We are grateful to be a part of this very special team that is helping children with autism in our community.
As a trained facility dog, Drake will now live and work with her autism service provider/handler to help kids with autism meet their individual goals. Drake will work with children to increase their motivation, promote gross and fine motor activities, provide opportunities for language and offer calm and comfort.
Specific benefits and activities of a Good Dog! facility dog include:
She will arrive with her Good Dog! Trainer, Samantha Mack, in San Diego on August 11th where she will dedicate her life to serving children with autism at the Comprehensive Autism Center (CAC). CAC has been working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families throughout San Diego, Camp Pendleton and Riverside for the past six years. Based on the overwhelming positive feedback from families in Camp Pendleton and a passion for the military community as a whole, CAC opened a one-of-a-kind autism center in Oceanside, CA in January 2014. CAC incorporates teaching skills across all domains, including focusing on reducing maladaptive behaviors while teaching to increase language, play, socialization and adaptive living skills. Drake will reinforce these principles by participating in one-on-one sessions, community outings, circle time and a new social skills group.
Drake will live and work with CAC’s regional director, Susie Jordan, who will be completing her Good Dog! handler lessons with one week of personal instruction from Samantha. Susie will be responsible for Drake’s ongoing care, facilitation of her daily duties and maintaining Drake’s mastered skill set. As mentioned before as an invaluable part of the team, The Drake Center has generously offered to sponsor her veterinary care for life.
A note from Susie: