What is Autism?
Condition disturbing perceptions and relationships: a disturbance in psychological development in which use of language, reaction to stimuli and interpretation of the world, and the formation of relationships are not fully established and follow unusual patterns.
Autism Service Dogs
Dogs have been proven to be an asset for children diagnosed with autism and their family. Autism Service Dogs provide a social "bridge" for children who are often secluded by others because of their behavior or lack of social interaction. A well-trained Autism Service Dog can also provide comfort as well as calm children who suffer.
An Autism Assistance Dog or Autism Service Dog can change the lives of a family with a child that has been diagnosed with autism or autistic symptoms. The diagnosis of Autism can turn a family's life and normal schedules upside down but with the help of a trained a Autism Service Dog, some of the intense pressures can be relieved.
Autism Service Dog Training
The following tasks represent what an Autism Service Dog is capable of performing. Each autism service dog is specifically trained to their owners personal needs based on their medical condition and may or may not include the following tasked described. Trained dogs to respond to the following Autistic symptoms:
Impulsive Running - dog will help retrieve and get child back to parent
Self Harming Behavior - dog will interrupt behavior and alert parent
Awakening at Night - dog will bark to alert parents
Interpret Mood Swings - dog will crawl into child's lap to calm child
Interrupt Social Isolation - child tends to focus on dog companionship
Non-Verbal Child - child learns to give dog commands
PICA - dog will stop child from eating inappropriate items
Self Stimulation - dog can interrupt behavior
Benefits of Having an Autism Assistance Dog
There are countless benefits of owning an assistance dog for children and families affected by autism. Autism Service Dogs are faithful companions that assist these children and families with activities of daily living as well as increasing the safety of the child and reducing the stress level of their family. Other advantages of having an autism assistance dog are:
Increased social interaction - assistance dogs have proven to improve social skills and social interaction with children affected by autism. These dogs are naturally interesting which often draws the attention of the autistic child as well as others.
Redirecting repetitive behaviors - dogs can be taught to nudge a child that is performing repetitive behaviors, this touch is often all that is required to redirect the child from these behaviors.
- Improved independence - assistance dogs can provide independence by allowing the child to walk with the dog as opposed to constantly holding the hand of a parent or adult. These highly skilled dogs can assist the child while under the direction of the adult.
- Increased vocabulary - children with autism are often noticed to have an increase in vocabulary after being paired with an assistance dog. The children seem to be more comfortable in speaking with the dog which transfers more verbal interaction with people.
- Improved quality of sleep - assistance dogs provide a certain level of comfort that can often improve a a child's ability to sleep more throughout the night.
- Overall calming ability - when performing everyday tasks, children feel less pressure working with a dog as opposed to their peers. The tactile experience of having a dog as a companion has also proven to provide calming effects. Autistic children who work with dogs have been documented to feel less anger and experience less act of aggression compared to the time before receiving an assistance dog.
-Recovering children quickly - these assistance dogs are taught to track the child in the event that they bolt or become missing. These dogs are capable of locating the child in a variety of environments and terrain. This ability to locate the child quickly, greatly reduces the risk of serious harm.
Service Dog Experts trains Autism Service Dogs to assist the person with autism and help them gain the independence and the confidence to perform daily activities similar to most people. An Autism Service Dog trained by Service Dog Experts will help a person or child living with Autism prioritize incoming information and assist in handling normal situations in a proper manner.
Service Dog Experts personalized training of an Autism Assistance Dog will help enrich the lives of the family and provide a child with autism the companionship, protection and independence they deserve.