How do I Participate?

Join Our Study

We are inviting families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aged 4-17 years old who have a Canine Companions for Independence skilled companion OR families on the waitlist for a skilled companion to participate in a national research study conducted by Purdue University.  

How do I participate? Complete a 30-60 minute survey about you and your child’s health and wellbeing and collect saliva samples from your child on three mornings.

Make a difference! Help us better understand the effects of skilled companions for children with ASD and their family members.

Families who participate in the study can earn up to $100!

Your participation has no relationship to you or your family’s status or application process with Canine Companions for Independence. This is an independent study conducted by Purdue University.

Questions? Contact us at or call (765) 494-0004

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the purpose of the study?

We want to collect data regarding service dogs as an intervention option for children with autism, as well as the effects on the child’s caregiver and family.

Who can participate in the study?

Families of children diagnosed with ASD ages 4-17 who have received a skilled companion from Canine Companions for Independence, or who are on the waitlist, are eligible to participate. 

What will I/my child do if we choose to be in the study?


  • You will complete one online survey regarding your child’s symptoms, treatments, and overall wellbeing, as well as your own experiences.
  • You will also be asked to collect your child’s saliva on 3 separate mornings.
Child with ASD:
  • Go about their everyday routines!
  • They will be asked to collect saliva on 3 separate mornings.

How long will I be in the study?

The study can last up to three weeks depending on when the survey is completed and when the saliva samples are collected.

Does my breed of service dog matter?

Your breed of service dog does not matter. Because we work in partnership with Canine Companions for Independence, any dog gifted through the program qualifies for the study.

Am I required to participate?

Your participation in each study activity is completely voluntary.

Can I withdraw from the study at any time?

You can withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. You will receive compensation for the activities you successfully completed.

Purdue Cares

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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