Alpacas for Autism

Using alpacas and fiber arts to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism

a Missouri 501c3 non profit corporation

 Adrian,Missouri 64720

Update June 2015: Saying good bye is hard even when you know it's for the best. After much discussion, prayer and thought, our board of directors voted to discontinue the Alpaca Companions program and sell our herd of live alpacas. This will allow us to concentrate on alpaca/fiber related products and serve more clients with autism.  JoJo and Cisco have joined their new family and will have 6 kids to love on them every day.  Blayze, Bosco and Gino will stay together and have a new family who will be loving them daily as well. They continue to participate with Alpacas for Autism in their crocheted form.  We will miss them but we know they are going to do great!

The Birth of a Dream...

Alpacas for Autism is the result of a journey to change my life. The journey began with the purchase of 3 alpacas.  From the first, I realized these animals would be a part of my life forever.  Their gentle nature, easy care and unique personalities became a part of who I am.

I worked hard at my job in the city, created all I could from the wonderful alpaca yarn and tried to find a way to handle the stress. Soon not only had our herd grown but so had my waistline.  My health and weight held me back from realizing just what God was calling me to do and why Alpacas had come into my life.

In November 2008 I made one small decision to finally DO SOMETHING, about my weight. I lost over 100lbs (read my story). As my health improved, my life changed. I was able to work from home full time, started doing craft shows to share the world of alpacas and spent more time with my son, Anthony (who has high functioning autism).  Even though I was happy, I still didn't feel like I was living God's plan and really giving back. I wanted to make a difference.

In September 2010, I decided to form an Autism Speaks walk team, and named it "Alpacas for Autism".  Over the next year,  I met the wonderful people of Camp Encourage (, and began hosting events to help raise money to support their awesome program.

Over and over, I was asked by families of individuals with autism if we were going to start connecting our alpacas with people with autism.  I met parents who told me stories of their children's unique talent to
create but no outlet to use that talent. 

I became obsessed with finding a way to use my "alpaca world" to help these families and make a difference while giving back. Alpacas for Autism incorporated in September 2011 and received it's 501c3 status in November 2012. 

In September of 2014, I published my first book "Coming Home to Joy" to share my story, the birth of Alpacas for Autism and the amazing transformation God did with my life.

I now am truly living the Joyful life God designed. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the work of Alpacas for Autism as I also honor God through my coaching and consulting firm (

I am incredibly blessed by the people who are serving on our board of directors, our volunteers and supporters. Together we are committed to providing training and support with integrity and compassion to support families living with autism.

Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Catch up on the latest news by visiting my blog

A Message From Our  Founder, Tina Joy Cochran