Lara posted this on Service & Support Animals under the "Pets" category under the General category here - too good to not share.
From email from US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc.
December 4 , 2006
Service dog placements for children with autism
North Star Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to place assistance dogs with children who face challenges. To date they have helped over seventy-five families around the country to meet their children's social, emotional and educational goals through the use of well-bred and trained North Star dogs.
Service Dog Placements for Children with Autism
Creating a service dog placement for a child with autism differs from creating placements between service dogs and physically challenged adults. From puppy hood on, the philosophy of training the dog and the timetable for placement has to be tailored to the unique needs of the child and move in tandem with the dog's natural development.
In traditional service animal programs, dogs are placed with human partners when the dogs are approximately two years of age, and they arrive fully trained. New owners learn handling skills within the space of two or three weeks. At North Star, we create placements when the dog is still a puppy, in order to facilitate the strongest bond possible, and to insure the dog's training matches the child's needs.
Have copied out the links from the North Star Foundation
home page, hoping it will encourage you to Visit, Learn
and Spread the Word to Parents of Autistic Children --
Please be aware that until this Foundation grows larger, they are
currently able to place only 10 puppies a year with families they train.
The North Star Foundation is 100% supported by donations