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The mission of Dream Acres for Autism, inc is to expand the perspective of young autistic people, their families, and the community to make them aware of life's possibilities. In the past few years the number of children being diagnosed on the autistic spectrum has increased dramatically. Ironically, the number of abandoned and homeless dogs has also increased in our community at an alarming rate. Dream Acres for Autism Service Dog Program unites an autistic child/youth with a qualified rescue dog for no cost to the family and through training and guidance they become a successfully functioning team within society.. reaching each other's potential together.
Dream Acres for Autism, Inc., founded by Ellen Richard-Clark, was originally developed in Central Florida to offer functional life skill training programs to autistic children/youths. Dream Acres for Autism, Inc. is the parent organization to the Dream Acres for Autism Service Dog program; a unique service dog program that tests, matches, acquires, and trains qualified rescue dogs to be service dogs to autistic children/youths with no costs to the families. Dream Acres for Autism Service Dog program tests and acquires all potential service dogs from various pet rescue organizations and rescue situations within th state of Florida. Since the placement and training of the program's first service dog in 2012, Dream Acres for Autism, Inc has successfully matched and trained service dog teams and emotional support animals to completion statewide and has also created two annual events to benefit the special needs community; Dream Acres for Autism's Paws of Honor Festival is an award ceremony recognizing all handler and dogs that benefit each other in our community in addition to education, fun activities for pets and their owners within our communiy and sensory friendly activities. Our annual Splash Parties held in partnership with Let's Go 4 Kids is held at the end of summer to offer a sponsored sensory friendly water themed experience to all diagnoses of abilities. Both events are offered at the Kirby Family Farm in Williston (amusement park).