Lee’s Summit is rated one of America’s healthiest cities by utilizing an integrated health and human services network providing services easily accessible to all its citizens whether or not they are insured. In collaboration with its charitable organizations, the City’s health system has developed the resources to assist in providing access to preventative measures, therapy, education, treatment and support to the entire community including the disadvantaged and most vulnerable.

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Paws 4 Autism

Terri Wible  terri@paws4autism.org

PO Box 675
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
816 -875-3990

website url – www.paws4autism.org


Our mission is to bring Autism Service Dogs and related services, including community outreach and education, service dog awareness, informational training and social skills classes, to children who demonstrate autism spectrum behaviors. Our vision is for all children on the autism spectrum and for those with spectrum behaviors to have access to specifically trained autism service and/or therapy dogs to assist with their peer interaction and improve social integration in their schools and communities.



Community Outreach and Education:
To our knowledge, our two dogs (Franklyn and Grady) are the first service dogs in the Kansas City Region that are solely trained to help autistic individuals.  This creates a buzz of curiosity everywhere we go as we always have the dogs with us. We are consistently being asked about the dogs and how they help the children. I do presentations and in-services at many business association meetings, schools and hospitals.  It is a great feeling to bring smiles to so many.


Canine Assisted Social Skills In Education (CASSIE):
Our CASSIE program has really become the growth and vision of our mission for all children on the autism spectrum and for those with spectrum behaviors to have access to specifically trained autism service and/or therapy dogs to assist with their peer interaction and improve social integration in their schools and communities. Most developmentally or neurologically challenged individuals have the innate ability to connect with animals especially when they seem unable to connect to humans. From individual in-home communication skills to tween group social skills and soon teen and young adult employment training programs, our goal is to help those on the higher end of the autism spectrum become more independent and achieve the experience and confidence needed to become productive members of society.  It is well known that early intervention is key to the success in autism treatments. Unfortunately, it is those who are high functioning who have the least amount of resources available for treatment and support. It is also this same group who, with proper supports, can become self-sufficient and productive in society. With patience, training and perseverance, these same youth no longer need be relegated to bussing tables or sacking groceries as their limited options for the future.


Corporations Helping with Interpersonal Positive Interactions (CHIP-In):
Through this program we help families raise funds for their child’s ASD. Initially this was open nationally. However, due to restrictions in funds and time availability we have scaled back to support and work with Kansas City metro families only.  It is our hope that once again we will be able to open up the application process to families nation-wide.


Paws 4 Families:
Most families with special needs give up on all but the essentials of daily living in order to care for their child/ren. This is especially true in our kitchens with mismatched dishes & flatware, over used pots & pans, hand-me-downs & thrift store appliances. Through a generous partnership, our client families will be able to choose NEW items from the resource closet that have been donated from overstock. We will open the closet for any family with an autistic child after the first two weeks of a donation delivery.


Paws Puppy Partners:
The industry standard to breed, raise and train a service dog of any specialty averages between $20,000 to $30,000 and lasts from 18-24 months. Most training agencies have some funding and donations in place to help reduce that cost for their families who need a service animal. Those agencies put families on a waiting list aftertheir funds have been raised. The average wait time once on the list is between 2 to 6 years. Through our Paws Puppy Partners Program families are able to truly become a part of the training process and earn sweat equity towards the cost of their own service dog. They have the opportunity to work and live with several different dogs throughout their tenure in the program and gain the experience and confidence of becoming basic trainers themselves. This also ensures the best match for both the family and the dog. Each youth in Puppy Partners Program is required to attend a minimum of four CASSIE Social Group sessions each month in order to remain in active status. An added bonus of this program is that the fear of the unknown (Will a service dog work for MY child??) is alleviated.  If a family who has been in the PuppyPartners program decides that a service dog is not the right fit for them, then they are not “stuck with” a dog they do not want and are not out thousands of dollars. The cost to the family is only $500 per month. This covers not only the essentials for the dog, but also as many of our scheduled social skills group classes as they want to attend. Assuming a two year training period, that would be$12,000 which includes their fully trained and matched autism service dog, all dog food/vet/medical/training equipment/service vest/specialty leashes throughout their tenure in the program as well as 2 years of social skills classes (valued at $8,000 if used 3x/wk).