Project Chance Prospective Family Orientation

Diagnosing and treating a child with a disability is a life altering experience for the whole family. As the chart below demonstrates it takes an equal contribution of at least five factors to positively set your child up for the most recovery possible.

Chart A service dog is one of the many strategies to help ease this experience. A dog trained through Project Chance benefits both the child diagnosed on the autism spectrum as well as the family.

The placement of a dog with a child enables the child and family to increase their mobility and socialization as a family.

These dogs provide a service and should be seen as ONE of the tools used to manage the child’s disability. The dog is not the total answer, but can be an intervention therapy for use with neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. It is important to recognize, honor, and observe the relationship that the child needs to have with the service dog, since it is the child who will ultimately receive the greatest benefit.

The right puppy can be a valuable companion in the life of a child with autism, regardless of the challenges he or she must face.

Project Chance offers:

  1. The Project Chance Puppy Year:  this time starts when the puppy makes the first transition from Dog Leg Productions to the puppy raiser’s home. A unique training relationship building experience begins between the child, their matched puppy and the puppy raiser.
  2. An individualized set of goals is evaluated and set in motion for the puppy/child team.  The training program includes cognitive exercises, health and safety assessments, and social skill improvements. 
  3. The introduction, understanding and implementation of the federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and state statutes which govern the access to public and private venues are started.
  4. A strong support system of puppy raisers, trainers, volunteers, friends and family, to maximize the relationship between child and service dog.
  5. A realistic set of agendas is mapped out to optimize the dog handling skills and animal husbandry needs of caring for a dog as a pet.
  6. An on-going relationship between trainers and family, years after placement.

Project Chance pledges:

  1. To respect and honor the family’s needs
  2. To advocate, through the dog, for improvement in the child’s quality of life.
  3. To educate the family about state and federal laws concerning the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of owning a service dog.


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