Our service dogs for children with autism help them gain confidence and independence. Together, they will experience newly found social interactions, increased communication abilities, and also assist with daily living activities. In the presence of triggers (e.g., loud noises) our dogs perform grounding behaviors.
Service dogs can address the following areas affected by autism by:
Performing behaviors the child can model in therapy sessions.
Behaviors dog can perform may include secondary leash or handle led walking in public.
Interrupting or alerting to early signs of maladaptive or repetitive behavior, escalation in stress or anxiety, or other responses to triggers.
Behaviors dog can perform may include chin rest, nose nudge.
Providing grounding or sensory input to decrease physiological symptoms of stress/anxiety.
Behaviors dog can perform may include applying weight or pressure by leaning into child or lying down on child’s lap or feet.
Assisting with mobility limitations.
Behaviors dog can perform may include retrieval, delivery or carrying of items, bracing for balance assistance, tug or push things open/closed, on/off, etc.
Assisting with daily living skills.
Behaviors dog can perform may include dressing, undressing, retrieval for motor skills support.
Providing occasion for social engagement by utilizing social stories for the child and corresponding behaviors of the dog can be developed to enhance social interaction.
Behaviors dog can perform may include visit, wave, bow, fist bump, etc.