Dream Acres for Autism was founded by Ellen Richard-Clark, the mother of an autistic child who developed independence skills with great strides while interacting with Great Pyrenees dogs that guarded livestock on the family farm. 

With a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Biology and previous experience with training dogs for the hearing impaired, Ellen recognized the natural instincts of communication and independent thinking skills shown by the family’s Great Pyrenees towards her son throughout his childhood.  The intervention of these dogs, in addition to their household shepherd mix, was encouraged.  As a result, Ellen's son grew to be a self-confident young man capable of living independently with his disabilities.  

Dream Acres for Autism is dedicated to Kiera, Baxter, Polar-Cola Bear, and Lady -- all long-lived and cherished "rescue dogs" that served Ellen's son naturally out of pure love from their hearts. 

Dream Acres for Autism Service Dogs, a program of Dream Acres for Autism, was created to offer an increased level of independence to individuals with autism through service dogs professionally trained for autism needs.

Young dogs in rescue situations are the source of our potential service dogs. 


The dogs accepted into our program will have passed testing requirements for intelligence, temperament,  training ability, etc.

After a child or youth in need has an approved home visit, the search, testing, and match of the rescue dog takes place, considering the individual needs of both the child and the rescue dog. Upon a match, the potential service dog is placed from the dog's foster home directly into the child's home for training.  

Dream Acres For Autism, Inc. never shelters dogs in a facility or kennel before, during, or after training.

For more information or an application, contact Ellen Richard-Clark at (407) 463-0858 or dreamacres4autism@comcast.net

The Dream Acres Autism Service Dog Program acquires, tests, trains and matches rescue dogs to be service dogs for children and youths on the autism spectrum, at no cost to the family.  


The potential service dog is specifically chosen to meet the individual needs of the family. The dog is placed directly with the family from foster care, and both family and dog are trained together as a team. This ensures the closest bond possible and empowers the youth and family with the knowledge and experience to train future service dogs needed throughout the child’s life. There are no kennels, no facilities, and all training is focused on individual need.

Our Dogs

What We Do

Where Our Dream Began