For children with autism or other developmental disabilities, a service dog can make all the difference. They can be trained in a variety of tasks that address a range of issues facing a child with autism and the family. These include socialization, behavioral, and life skills, and fine and gross motor skills.
A service dog can rest his head on a child’s lap to calm or interrupt unwanted behavior, flip on a light switch if the child has a fear of the dark, press against the child to give the sensation of pressure, and even communicate with parents by barking when the dog senses the child needs assistance.
Today, we’re speaking with two autism moms that know firsthand how service dogs can help children who deal with development challenges or social anxieties.
More recently, Carey Jordan and Erin Huff created “Autism Tails” with the mission to provide information, some hope, and a better understanding of living with autism and these furry bundles of love.
If you or your family are thinking about getting a service or therapy dog, perhaps begin by asking yourself these questions:
Does your child like dogs?
Might your child or anyone else in the household have allergies that might be aggravated by a dog?
Is your family prepared and ready to take on the long-term commitment and expense of caring for a dog in sickness and in health?
Are you comfortable handling a dog while caring for your child in public?
A service dog training agency such as Assistance Dogs International or Loyalty Service Dogs, and even our friends at Autism Tails, can help you sort through these questions while sharing some personal experiences.
For more information on Autism Tails, please visit: www.autismtails.net