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Meet Blue, Raymond’s autism service dog. We received Blue from North Star Dogs, a nonprofit that specializes in autism service dogs. Blue received his AKC Canine Good Citizen designation and his full public access status in July 2013. He is 2, and he supports Raymond in a variety of ways. First, he is a constant sensory support to Raymond, which makes it possible for him to stay in high stimuli areas without running. Raymond has elopement issues, and Blue helps him manage those behaviors.

I made this page because I want folks to know that we are understanding of those who are allergic or afraid of dogs. Blue is a highly trained and well maintained companion. He is professionally groomed in the spring and fall, and we brush him weekly to keep shedding to a minimum. He wears a neoprene sleeve around his tags to help minimize the amount of noise he makes, and he is never in public without a trained handler.

Neither we, as a family, nor Raymond, as a disabled person, are required to share this information per the Americans with Disabilities act revised requirements of 2010. However, we feel that open and honest communication is an important part of educating people who don’t understand why a service dog would be necessary for someone with autism. Also, if we have asked you or your children not to pet Blue, please be assured that we are not being unkind. Although you may be dog people, Blue is not a people dog. He is a working dog with one specific purpose, and that is to support Raymond. Many times we cannot allow him to socialize, so thank you for honoring our son’s needs.

The two questions folks are allowed to ask are addressed below.

 

Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

Yes.

What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Blue provides sensory support on command to Raymond, including but not limited to deep pressure and tactile input.