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Would this be a waste of money? (regarding teen with ASD/ADHD)


ktgrok
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I posted earlier I think that he is exploring careers with animals. He volunteers three days a week at a rehabilitation center for birds of prey and loves it. He is learning to fly a hawk and helping train their newest one. (Falconing...except it's a hawk not a falcon...I think they still call it falconry, lol). Anyway, the volunteering is an improvement over sitting around gaming all day, but he's 19 and just volunteering 3 days a week at a place that probably will never be able to afford to actually hire him (they have only 1 or 2 paid employees) is not going to be enough. He's applied for some jobs at vet clinics but gotten nowhere. He did a job shadowing at my prodding, that I set up with a friend who is a vet tech, and loved it, but they are not hiring right now. He did NOT do well the last few years of school, getting either A's or F's depending on the subject, his mood issues, etc. He does have a tendency toward depression but physical activity, volunteering, fresh air, being needed and helpful all combat that and help him. That and actually taking his ADHD meds ?

Anyway, he has also expressed some interest in dog training, maybe not as a full career but as a possible side gig since wildlife rehab doesn't pay much at all, and even certified vet techs don't make a whole lot either. He has the opportunity to attend a 6 day intensive course for people who want to become dog trainers, taught by one of the top trainers in the country, 25 minutes from our house. His special needs scholarship has preapproved the expense, and would reimburse us for it. It is $2,100. He has nearly $24,000 in his scholarship account that he hasn't used. It can be used for college tuition, vocational programs, books, computer equipment or other supplies and technology, etc. He also SHOULD be getting our state scholarship based on his SAT scores, which will cover 75% of tuition at any state college or approved tech/vocational school - but somehow they didn't find his SAT scores when he applied so I've contacted them to get that fixed. Even without that, 4 years of college including estimated books/tuition/fees at first a community college and then the state school is about $21K. Room and board is not covered by either of the scholarships programs, so I didn't factor that in. He'd probably live at home anyway. And honestly, I'm not hopeful he's going to do 4 years of school anyway. Right now his goal sort of kind of is to get an AS in veterinary technology maybe...which is about 3 years, at a less expensive school. 

All that background to say, he says he IS interested in the dog training course, but feels he isn't interested enough to justify the cost, which to him at 19 is a HUGE amount of money. But, he also when he said that didn't know how much was in his scholarship. I am wondering if he thought it would be a giant chunk of the money. I just now, as he was leaving to go to his volunteer job gave him that information, and told him I thought that may change his calculation, and to think on it today. 

My thinking was, if it would give him a skill that can be used now or in the future, and have some cross over to animal handling in veterinary medicine if the goes that route, and may look good on his resume/applications as he continues to apply for jobs, and would get him outdoors working with animals for a week (being outside and working with animals are two big things that help his mental health), and be something he'd be able to start and finish in a short time period, giving him an immediate sense of accomplishment, it's probably worth it. But...I did dog training and actually would love to attend myself if I could (I can't), so maybe I'm projecting here.

Thoughts? This is a kid that ALWAYS needs some prodding to try new things, like his volunteer job that I basically forced him into but that he currently loves to pieces. So I'm not averse to strongly pushing this, but he's right, it is expensive, so ?

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58 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I posted earlier I think that he is exploring careers with animals. He volunteers three days a week at a rehabilitation center for birds of prey and loves it. ?

Anyway, he has also expressed some interest in dog training, maybe not as a full career but as a possible side gig since wildlife rehab doesn't pay much at all, and even certified vet techs don't make a whole lot either. He has the opportunity to attend a 6 day intensive course for people who want to become dog trainers, taught by one of the top trainers in the country, 25 minutes from our house. His special needs scholarship has preapproved the expense, and would reimburse us for it. It is $2,100.

My thinking was, if it would give him a skill that can be used now or in the future, and have some cross over to animal handling in veterinary medicine if the goes that route, and may look good on his resume/applications as he continues to apply for jobs, and would get him outdoors working with animals for a week (being outside and working with animals are two big things that help his mental health), and be something he'd be able to start and finish in a short time period, giving him an immediate sense of accomplishment, it's probably worth it. But...I did dog training and actually would love to attend myself if I could (I can't), so maybe I'm projecting here.

Thoughts? This is a kid that ALWAYS needs some prodding to try new things, like his volunteer job that I basically forced him into but that he currently loves to pieces. So I'm not averse to strongly pushing this, but he's right, it is expensive, so ?

$2,100 for a week of dog training . . what is covered? what is the training for? does he have a dog?  do they provide a dog?  is this all theory? (iow: no dog is used)  how would this help him get a job? and only a week?  it takes longer than that just to do basic dog training.

there are things he could do where dog handling is part of the job. yes, he'd need to have the dog skills - but he'd have to do the other part too.   law enforcement does a lot of dogs, border control, my international hub airport.   then there is search and rescue - which requires constant training/reinforcing skills when not actively doing a search.  there are agencies which train dogs as service dogs - I would contact one and find out what types of skills they want of their trainers and look into that.  what does it pay?  how many hours? side gig or full-time?

 

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my older son's took awhile to figure out what they wanted to do.  they bounced around with classes, stopping - starting, penny-ante jobs, ,etc.   (this time of year, I'd encourage him to consider UPS driver helper.  it's more outside/fresh air than you'd think. they're hiring now and it goes through the new year.  it was really good for 2ds the year he did it.)

I pulled my hair out, dh and I took turns being irritable with them while wondering if they'd ever develop some self-motivation. while also trying to be supportive.  they both finally figured out what they wanted to do, and graduate this school year.  the best part is - once they found something they were happy with, they became self-motivated and I never had to say anything again.   starting at a CC with a transfer degree, high school grades don't matter that much.  CC's do math and language placement tests - but that's just for placement, not admission. 

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I'm taking your word for it (since I assume you know) that it really is taught by one of the top trainers. I'm assuming here you mean someone who is actually well respected by professionals, and not a TV celebrity type who knows . .  . how to look pretty and appealing on TV.

If so--if it's a name that counts--and assuming he continues to be interested in some type of career in animals, then I think it could look quite good on a resume. Many techniques can be applied to different species. Whether it would look good enough to be worth that amount of money . . . IDK. And I would never consider a six day course, no matter how intensive and no matter who was teaching it, to qualify someone as a trainer. Even though I know that's WAY more than most of those passing themselves off as trainers at Petsmart and Petco have.

Assuming this is not a training program aimed at novices--I assume he has the necessary knowledge now to make use of it and not feel overwhelmed?

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Well, I have no clue about dog training but if you think he would likely do well in it I say go for it. Who knows whether he will ever want to attend regular college etc. and even if there may be all kinds of ways to make it work.

I'd say giving him the feeling to have successfully completed something and a potentially attractive addition to his resume might be worth it. I would feel different if the money was a hardship (i.e. you'd have to borrow it) but if you have it available I would go for it unless you think it likely he won't get through the class. (Again with the caveat that I have no knowledge about dog training at all).

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Dog training is a good skill but honestly not that difficult. What exactly is covered?  There are just so many books and videos our there for free or low cost. It does scream gimmick to me or that you are paying primarily to meet someone famous and not for the content. 

Even dealing with problem dogs (aggressive or scared etc) is more a matter of patience consistency and kindness and not some special “trick”. 

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Is the training program hands on doing?  And if so, with what dog?

Is it fair to ask with whom and maybe for a link to the program details?

Is there information on past graduates or a way to talk to past graduates?

 

 

You know for your area that wildlife rehab probably has not much Career potential and that vet assistant has no current openings   What is the local situation for dog trainers ? 

 

From my pov $2100 is a lot, but could potentially be the start toward a launch into real work, gradually gaining clients and skills.    However, I don’t know that to be true.  

 

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I'm predisposed to like the idea, because my dd with ASD is very interested in dog training, so I've looked into educational opportunities there. Having said that, though, does your ds have any actual training experience? I know you have a dog. Has he shown interest in training or taken part in it?

One reason I ask is that dealing with her dog can overwhelm dd, even though he is the center of her existence. Your son is six years older and probably has way more frustration tolerance and emotional regulation than dd has, so maybe this isn't an issue for him. For dd, though, dealing with a really smart, utterly devoted, but sometimes uncomprehending and uncooperative dog can put her right at the edge of her ability to cope. She keeps coming back to try again, with lots of good moments they both enjoy. We keep signing them up for classes at the local obedience club. But-- it can be hard, and there are much lower-cost ways of seeing if this is a real interest. For dd, I will hesitate to think of this as a career option unless her frustration tolerance improves a lot in the next few years. Ymmv.

I'm interested in the class, too, if you don't mind linking details. We won't be doing it now, but as I said, I've been trying to feel out the business a little. I'll try to come back and link a few other options I've seen, with the caveat that I really don't know if they're any good. We haven't gotten that far yet.

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Some answers to your great questions!

1. It's actually pretty much the standard price for this kind of training (train the trainer, not just dog training). In fact, several are more expensive. 

2. It's hands on, on the property of the trainer. It is that trainer, his wife who is also highly respected, and one other trainer. Reviews I've found all indicate that yes, the big name guy does actually teach the class. People comment on how nice and friendly he is (which is not always the case with dog people, lol)

3. No, not Cesar or another "celebrity". I wouldn't give Cesar the time of day, I think he's a hack. This is Martin Deeley, who is the founder and executive director of the IACP. He's better known for his gun dog trainer than in the obedience world, but I think my son might get a kick out of that, actually. My son is definitely an outdoors type of guy, into kayaking, fishing, and enjoys target shooting but has never been hunting. Not really a thing in our circle of friends. I could also see him getting involved in search and rescue possibly because of that. ( I acknowledge that many do not like that IACP members  are not positive only trainers, but I'm comfortable with the way this trainer does things, and  looking to start a debate about training styles. I've already taught my son the basics of lure/reward and clicker training, and use that as well as corrections in my own training.)

4. He can bring a dog (and probably would), but there are also dogs there on the property to work with. 

5. The program is probably just a bit above novice, and pretty intense, but my son has really good instincts with dogs, and has some experience working with our own dogs as well as some working with the neighbors' dogs. They have a new puppy he's been teaching basic commands to, keeping it for several hours at a time, taking it out for socialization, etc. People who have observed him with animals say he is a natural, which given that he basically grew up in a vet clinic makes sense. 

6. I wouldn't consider him ready to hang out a shingle after a week, for sure! But he'd have the skills to do some more pro-bono work with neighbors and maybe some rescues, and I would think it would be helpful to say he'd done the program when and if he wanted to find some local trainers to shadow. 

7. We did find another program via the Animal Behavior College, that his scholarship will cover, but it is all online and he doesn't learn best that way. Many other are not covered for various technical reasons. Basically, this one is covered only because it is in Florida. And the Animal Behavior one is covered because the lessons are video based with no instructor interaction, so they are considered curriculum, not a course. It's complicated. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I'm predisposed to like the idea, because my dd with ASD is very interested in dog training, so I've looked into educational opportunities there. Having said that, though, does your ds have any actual training experience? I know you have a dog. Has he shown interest in training or taken part in it?

One reason I ask is that dealing with her dog can overwhelm dd, even though he is the center of her existence. Your son is six years older and probably has way more frustration tolerance and emotional regulation than dd has, so maybe this isn't an issue for him. For dd, though, dealing with a really smart, utterly devoted, but sometimes uncomprehending and uncooperative dog can put her right at the edge of her ability to cope. She keeps coming back to try again, with lots of good moments they both enjoy. We keep signing them up for classes at the local obedience club. But-- it can be hard, and there are much lower-cost ways of seeing if this is a real interest. For dd, I will hesitate to think of this as a career option unless her frustration tolerance improves a lot in the next few years. Ymmv.

I'm interested in the class, too, if you don't mind linking details. We won't be doing it now, but as I said, I've been trying to feel out the business a little. I'll try to come back and link a few other options I've seen, with the caveat that I really don't know if they're any good. We haven't gotten that far yet.

Good things to think about. DS already does work with eagles, hawks, falcons, and Kites at the rehab center, and seems to LOVE it. He's currently (with a mentor) training a red tailed Hawk to....fly seems like a dumb word, obviously the bird already know how to fly, lol, but to do it on command I guess? Falconry, basically. And he says the bird can definitely be frustrating sometimes, when she just won't do what you want, but it doesn't seem to bother him. We've had some great discussions with me sharing my insights via dog training (distance/duration/distraction stuff) and how it may or may not apply to a bird of prey. He's also trained his cat to come when called, and lately has suddenly been taking the dogs out for walks without me suggesting it. 

He's not devoted to the idea of training yet, but honestly, with him, it seems he has to be immersed in something and experience before that can happen. He also has to meet other people doing it. So my thinking is that if he does the week of hands on and falls in love with it, at that point he'd be much more likely to be motivated enough to do an online course (or several), get out and do training in the community, work with the neighbors, whatever. Talking about it with him doesn't work, he has to experience it first hand to know if he actually enjoys it. 

For your daughter, there are some classes on Ian Dunbar's site, and Karen Pryor's as well. His scholarship will cover some of the Karen Pryor courses, but not the big professional one, because it has instructor interaction and they won't cover instructors outside of Florida. He's looking at the course via the International School For Dogs, here in Florida, because basically it is the only hands on, in person one I can find that his scholarship will pay for. And I do think he needs that hands on to start with. Then, if he likes it, he will research on his own (does that with the birds, fishing, etc.) and be more likely to succeed in taking some online courses, books, etc. 

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21 minutes ago, texasmom33 said:

How often does this local opportunity with Martin Deely happen? Is it a one-time thing, or is it offered periodically? 

I honestly don't know....I only see one training date right now, for November. None other are scheduled. But good question to ask! (looks like the last one was back in April, so not very often)

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How is he likely to do with the all-day for six days format? Being 'on' and in a group constantly can be overwhelming for many people. 

I'm also not a big fan of the 'drinking from a firehose' method of learning. Shorter sessions, spread over more time, would always be my choice. 

Having said that, I would not discount the idea completely if it is the only choice covered by the scholarship. 

Edited by katilac
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1 minute ago, katilac said:

How is he likely to do with the all-day for six days format? Being 'on' and in a group constantly can be overwhelming for many people. 

I'm also not a big fan of the 'drinking from a firehose' method of learning. Shorter sessions, spread over more time, would always be my choice. 

Having said that, I would not discount the idea completely if it is the only choice covered by the scholarship. 

He's like me...we get obsessed and stick with one thing/idea for 24/7 so I think that format would be okay as far as learning,  but the lack of downtime may be an issue. The good part is it is within an easy drive, so he can come home to his own room afterwards and chill in peace each evening. If it was indoors it might be an issue, but he does so much better when outside that I think he'd be okay? And he'd have a dog to pet on, to help him relax if need be.

Good thing to bring up with him though. I definitely hadn't thought through that aspect. 

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Dog training is a good skill but honestly not that difficult. What exactly is covered?  There are just so many books and videos our there for free or low cost. It does scream gimmick to me or that you are paying primarily to meet someone famous and not for the content. 

Even dealing with problem dogs (aggressive or scared etc) is more a matter of patience consistency and kindness and not some special “trick”. 

Yes and no. For many people dog training is pretty darn intuitive. I've always just somehow understood dog, even as a very small child. I can train a dog to do about anything, but I'm not always good at explaining how I go about it. I just . . . know. But for all my "just knowing" and all the dogs I've worked with over the years, I also know that if I were younger (w/o a long history of animal related volunteer work or something similar to draw on) and wanted to get a paying job in the field I'd need some credentials I could put on a resume. The people who manage municipal shelters and humane societies know who the top trainers are, and course/seminar attendance--the more the better--really does carry some significant weight. I'm sure there are some gimmicks and scams, but many of them are far from it.

ETA: I know people who work at shelters, and it's not uncommon for the shelters to cover the cost of seminars for an employee or two, just like continuing education is covered by many employers in other professions. That's how valuable some of these courses/seminars can be.

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36 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Some answers to your great questions!

1. It's actually pretty much the standard price for this kind of training (train the trainer, not just dog training). In fact, several are more expensive. 

2. It's hands on, on the property of the trainer. It is that trainer, his wife who is also highly respected, and one other trainer. Reviews I've found all indicate that yes, the big name guy does actually teach the class. People comment on how nice and friendly he is (which is not always the case with dog people, lol)

3. No, not Cesar or another "celebrity". I wouldn't give Cesar the time of day, I think he's a hack. This is Martin Deeley, who is the founder and executive director of the IACP. He's better known for his gun dog trainer than in the obedience world, but I think my son might get a kick out of that, actually. My son is definitely an outdoors type of guy, into kayaking, fishing, and enjoys target shooting but has never been hunting. Not really a thing in our circle of friends. I could also see him getting involved in search and rescue possibly because of that. ( I acknowledge that many do not like that IACP members  are not positive only trainers, but I'm comfortable with the way this trainer does things, and  looking to start a debate about training styles. I've already taught my son the basics of lure/reward and clicker training, and use that as well as corrections in my own training.)

4. He can bring a dog (and probably would), but there are also dogs there on the property to work with. 

5. The program is probably just a bit above novice, and pretty intense, but my son has really good instincts with dogs, and has some experience working with our own dogs as well as some working with the neighbors' dogs. They have a new puppy he's been teaching basic commands to, keeping it for several hours at a time, taking it out for socialization, etc. People who have observed him with animals say he is a natural, which given that he basically grew up in a vet clinic makes sense. 

6. I wouldn't consider him ready to hang out a shingle after a week, for sure! But he'd have the skills to do some more pro-bono work with neighbors and maybe some rescues, and I would think it would be helpful to say he'd done the program when and if he wanted to find some local trainers to shadow. 

7. We did find another program via the Animal Behavior College, that his scholarship will cover, but it is all online and he doesn't learn best that way. Many other are not covered for various technical reasons. Basically, this one is covered only because it is in Florida. And the Animal Behavior one is covered because the lessons are video based with no instructor interaction, so they are considered curriculum, not a course. It's complicated. 

 

Given this further information, I would go for it. 

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9 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Yes and no. For many people dog training is pretty darn intuitive. I've always just somehow understood dog, even as a very small child. I can train a dog to do about anything, but I'm not always good at explaining how I go about it. I just . . . know. But for all my "just knowing" and all the dogs I've worked with over the years, I also know that if I were younger (w/o a long history of animal related volunteer work or something similar to draw on) and wanted to get a paying job in the field I'd need some credentials I could put on a resume. The people who manage municipal shelters and humane societies know who the top trainers are, and course/seminar attendance--the more the better--really does carry some significant weight. I'm sure there are some gimmicks and scams, but many of them are far from it.

It also depends on the dog. If you work with certain breeds, say Aussies or such, it can be a lot easier than when you try to work with say, a bloodhound/coonhound mix with food issues who as often as not won't take treats and has zero prey drive so no interest in balls/toys/tugs, and comes from breeds designed to be very independent and make their own decisions versus a dog bred to follow human commands. Not that I'm speaking of any dogs in particular -cough-Tracker-cough.( Darned dog rolled in poop again yesterday and refused to eat today, so he's on my naughty list, lol. Never again will I have a hound. Give me a good German dog any day. Or a Pit Bull. Or a lab. Or a golden. Or anything but a hound, lol. At least not one that doesn't like food. )

I learned mostly from books, videos, etc myself, but I was already hooked at that point. And really, I learned the most just from working with dogs...a lot. He'd still need to put that time in, but it might get him to that point. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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I think you should push him to take the training seminar.

And also while there to learn as much as he can and to connect with others, including Deeley, as much as he can. Maybe it could even turn into a chance to shadow with Deeley at some future point. 

 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

So...how would you word it, to encourage him? Help me figure out what to say, lol. 

 

That sounds like the hardest part. 

Maybe remind him of past opportunities he was reluctant to do but ended up liking?

show him this thread?

My son has other alphabet soup labels, however, getting him to try things has always been hard, and harder yet as a teen. I expect it will be even more difficult when he is an official adult  like yours. 

Any program your son is currently sounding interested in seems like dog training experience could help. If I were a vet and had a job application that mentioned dog training experience, I think that would get extra notice from me. Possibly also if I were an animal behavior professor looking for a research assistant.   ...  Or a rare opportunity of a wildlife rescue with a paid job. We have a wild bird center in our area where training is involved when they try to prepare birds to be released to the wild. ...   Even work with people might benefit from training abilities. 

Edited by Pen
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23 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

That sounds like the hardest part. 

Maybe remind him of past opportunities he was reluctant to do but ended up liking?

show him this thread?

My son has other alphabet soup labels, however, getting him to try things has always been hard, and harder yet as a teen. I expect it will be even more difficult when he is an official adult  like yours. 

Any program your son is currently sounding interested in seems like dog training experience could help. If I were a vet and had a job application that mentioned dog training experience, I think that would get extra notice from me. Possibly also if I were an animal behavior professor looking for a research assistant.   ...  Or a rare opportunity of a wildlife rescue with a paid job. We have a wild bird center in our area where training is involved when they try to prepare birds to be released to the wild. ...   Even work with people might benefit from training abilities. 

That's what I'm thinking too. I need to get across that doing this doesn't mean he has to go out and be a dog trainer. It's just a (rare) opportunity to add to his skill set that he may not get again. If he goes to college in the spring, (local CC to knock out prerequisites for the vet tech program) and continues on, he's likely not to have a week he can just take off. Same with if he's working. 

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Just talked with him briefly (all you ever get with this kid...all conversations are in 5 minute or less increments it seems like...he's a master of disappearing if he doesn't like the turn of conversation. I caught him on the way to the shower. Anyway, his thing is he feels like if that much money was spent on it he HAS to become a dog trainer to make it worthwhile. The good news is he isn't a spendthrift, lol! I told him no, but that he should put those skills to work in whatever he does end up doing. And emphasized again that there would be enough money left for college should he choose to go. He did seem more receptive when I emphasized that, so we shall see. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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$2k out of a scholarship fund is definitely not "must become professional at this" money.  How many kids/parents spend $2k/YEAR on sports, or music lessons, or etc.?  It's just something that gives him that possibility, something to add to his resume, something to see if this is a way he is interested in going and good at.  If not, no big deal.  

 

ETA and by $2K/year I mean not that $2k all in one week is too much, but that many people spend $2k/yr for many years for say violin lessons for a kid who is never going to be a concert violinist - totalling $20K.  Or $4k/yr on youth hockey, or something, for 5 years.

Edited by moonflower
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Can he meet the instructor first and tour to make sure he's comfortable? Sometimes the dealbreaker is nothing about the topic but something totally different like the guy sounds funny or has mannerisms that bug you or whatever. Maybe the guy isn't good at explaining things in a way your ds will understand. For this, since it's one person, all or nothing on the expense, I would try to meet the instructor first and decide. Your ds is going to need personal relationship to do well and succeed in it anyway, so he might as well start there.

If he does well with it, the logical next step would be to go take a business class at the CC. He'd know *why* he wanted to take the business class at that point.

I'd definitely do it for the skill development and mentoring relationship, assuming your ds clicks with the guy and can learn from him. I'd just meet him first to make sure.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Can he meet the instructor first and tour to make sure he's comfortable? Sometimes the dealbreaker is nothing about the topic but something totally different like the guy sounds funny or has mannerisms that bug you or whatever. Maybe the guy isn't good at explaining things in a way your ds will understand. For this, since it's one person, all or nothing on the expense, I would try to meet the instructor first and decide. Your ds is going to need personal relationship to do well and succeed in it anyway, so he might as well start there.

If he does well with it, the logical next step would be to go take a business class at the CC. He'd know *why* he wanted to take the business class at that point.

I'd definitely do it for the skill development and mentoring relationship, assuming your ds clicks with the guy and can learn from him. I'd just meet him first to make sure.

Hmm...I'm not sure? I mean, this guy is listed in various magazines and such as "one of the top 5 gun dog trainers in the nation", so I don't think he gets many people asking if they can check him out before signing up. But..maybe? Like, email and ask, "I'm thinking about signing up for the November course, would it be possible to come out and meet any of the trainers and see the facility before committing?" 

Of course, that means convincing DS to go to THAT, sigh. And convincing him to send such an email, as I don't know that it would look great to have his mommy do it for him. I swear I think we need a separate, shared email for stuff like this. 

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When in doubt, play the autism card. You might as well know upfront what kind of person he is. Usually it intrigues them, and frankly THEY want it to be a good fit. They don't want to deal with what happens if a person signs up and is a terrible fit. Then they have to deal with their refund policy, people feeling screwed, etc. When there are special circumstances, everyone would rather know upfront, get familiar, do the prep, and say yes the kid is onboard and it's a good fit. 

I don't think it's astonishing that someone who is his age with disabilities needs a bit of support. I think it's more important that your ds drives the meeting when he gets there than who writes the email. That's your call, but it could go either way. I wouldn't let his anxiety over writing an email stop it. It would be normal for a coordinator on campus to make sticky stuff like that happen. I think some coordination is expected with disabilities. But the parts he CAN handle (anything to do with being in class), he should handle, sure.

Edited by PeterPan
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24 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

When in doubt, play the autism card. You might as well know upfront what kind of person he is. Usually it intrigues them, and frankly THEY want it to be a good fit. They don't want to deal with what happens if a person signs up and is a terrible fit. Then they have to deal with their refund policy, people feeling screwed, etc. When there are special circumstances, everyone would rather know upfront, get familiar, do the prep, and say yes the kid is onboard and it's a good fit. 

I don't think it's astonishing that someone who is his age with disabilities needs a bit of support. I think it's more important that your ds drives the meeting when he gets there than who writes the email. That's your call, but it could go either way. I wouldn't let his anxiety over writing an email stop it. It would be normal for a coordinator on campus to make sticky stuff like that happen. I think some coordination is expected with disabilities. But the parts he CAN handle (anything to do with being in class), he should handle, sure.

The issue is that DS doesn't want me to disclose his diagnosis, and since he is an adult now, I feel I have to respect that. 

But I am thinking I may go ahead and set up a shared email account for things like this anyway. There are a few times it would have been helpful. With his permission, of course. 

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3 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

Dog training as a job is one where one has to mostly deal with the owners, not the dogs.  

 

Not always.

We have a place in our area that breeds and sells gun dogs: some as started puppies and others as fully trained adults. Most of the work is probably with the dogs. when it is with the people, the subject is the dogs so less need for small talk. 

Another example: a trainer I got help from for dogs of mine had at former times trained military and police and narcotics dogs where much of the work was with the dogs directly. 

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7 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Not always.

We have a place in our area that breeds and sells gun dogs: some as started puppies and others as fully trained adults. Most of the work is probably with the dogs. when it is with the people, the subject is the dogs so less need for small talk. 

Another example: a trainer I got help from for dogs of mine had at former times trained military and police and narcotics dogs where much of the work was with the dogs directly. 

That's a good point, plus there are plenty of trainers that do mostly board and train, so a few sessions with the owner but mostly with the dogs. This trainer actually does sell some partially and fully trained dogs, or at least I think he used to. Others do as well. 

He doesn't like small talk but is fine doing question and answer sessions and presentations at the avian rehab center, and is one of their go to people for public events. So I think he could handle that just fine. Also, as a trainer you get to be the boss ? 

Edited by Ktgrok
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I love the picture!!!

 

Would it be okay with you if I possibly tried to draw or paint with it as a model some time in future or if my son did so?  We like to do “animal art” sometimes and if starting with a photo can only legally or ethically (?) do so with permission from original photographer  and subject, I believe. (Though sadly we aren’t probably good enough that a likeness would be identifiable, anyway .) 

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10 minutes ago, Pen said:

I love the picture!!!

 

Would it be okay with you if I possibly tried to draw or paint with it as a model some time in future or if my son did so?  We like to do “animal art” sometimes and if starting with a photo can only legally or ethically (?) do so with permission from original photographer  and subject, I believe. (Though sadly we aren’t probably good enough that a likeness would be identifiable, anyway .) 

He says you are welcome to do so! And if you contact the Avian Reconditioning Center, in Apopka (they have a website but my baby is screaming and so I don't have the link) I bet they would let you use any of theirs. 

Edited to add: This is his facebook, several of his photos are public I think. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008040227846

And this is where he volunteers: https://www.arc4raptors.org

Edited by Ktgrok
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5 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

If he likes the week long class, he  may want to look at Agriculture schools. My DD is interested in animal behavior, and has found that the ag schools often have the more practical classes for people who actually want to work with animals professionally. 

Huh, i never thought of that. Will go look. We have at least one in the state. 

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More ideas for falconry jobs or working with raptors:

falconer jobs -- career page info; CA Hawking Club, for an apprenticeship and move up into falconry jobs with a CA Fish & Game license
bird abatement -- using raptors to fly around orchards to prevent other birds from eating the fruit see Adam's Falconry)
Raptor Education Group -- raise or rehabilitate orphaned or injured birds
animal encounters / education -- schools; business groups; custom-hire groups (and here), etc.
animal demos -- zoos, wild animal parks, etc.; Renaissance Fair circuit; Medieval Times; etc.
film industry -- movies needing raptor scenes or footage

Don't know what to say about whether or not to push for the dog trainer course... But if it's just 1 week and only uses a small portion of his overall educational funds, and he has no current plans/needs for college right now, it seems like a good way to dip a toe back into formal academics, but in an area of high interest to him. And could be a great stepping stone item for a resume for getting a vet tech or office position at some point...

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1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

More ideas for falconry jobs or working with raptors:

falconer jobs -- career page info; CA Hawking Club, for an apprenticeship and move up into falconry jobs with a CA Fish & Game license
bird abatement -- using raptors to fly around orchards to prevent other birds from eating the fruit see Adam's Falconry)
Raptor Education Group -- raise or rehabilitate orphaned or injured birds
animal encounters / education -- schools; business groups; custom-hire groups (and here), etc.
animal demos -- zoos, wild animal parks, etc.; Renaissance Fair circuit; Medieval Times; etc.
film industry -- movies needing raptor scenes or footage

Don't know what to say about whether or not to push for the dog trainer course... But if it's just 1 week and only uses a small portion of his overall educational funds, and he has no current plans/needs for college right now, it seems like a good way to dip a toe back into formal academics, but in an area of high interest to him. And could be a great stepping stone item for a resume for getting a vet tech or office position at some point...

Thank you. He's very interested in Falconry but it is difficult to get a paying job doing it, and to become an apprentice you need a place to keep a falcon. I don't think our HOA will allow a falcon mew in the backyard ? So he's working with the birds at the center for now. Abatement jobs can play pretty well, but are hard to get. The others are pretty low paying, but definitely things he is considering. He'd love to stay in wildlife rehab I think, but again, a lot of those jobs are volunteer or at best part time only.  But it's definitely a dream at least. 

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I heard a Temple Grandin interview on NPR in the past couple weeks that makes me not only supportive of this, but also would encourage you to look at possible Animal Behaviorist programs (I suspect ones at Ag schools would lead to higher paying jobs than other schools). I would also second the suggestion that this course would help his resume for any sort of job with animals.  And even if he completely changes tracks and decides to go into a tech field after all, its something that would round out his resume a bit.

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