Friday, July 12, 2024

Autism Service Dogs For Adults

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Can Your Dogs Go Into Restaurants Shops And Other Public Places

What Is An Autism Assistance Dog?

Yes. According to the NSAI standard IS340, section 4, sub section F1: Assistance dogs and assistance dogs/puppies in training have full access to public places including shops, restaurants, public transport etc. They will be identified by their working dog/puppy in training jacket, bearing the organisations logo.

Note: Companion dogs and dogs released from our training programme without qualification do not have public right of way access and will not be provided with a working/training jacket.

Types Of Service Dogs

Due to better diagnosis techniques, the prevalence of ASD in US children increased by nearly 120 percent over the 10-year span from 2000 to 2010.

Dogs have always been one of the best pets for children. A dog has some unique qualities which make him great for this new role.

Autism assistance dogs are unique to the world of the dog helping people. Unlike the guide dogs who help with physical tasks, the autism assistance dog is there more for emotional support.

There can be three categories of dogs which can be helpful for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

1. Companion Dogs

These are a well-trained family pet. They can be a great companion for kids with autism. Your children will get unconditional love and friendship which will help to recover from Autism.

Make them learn to take care of these dogs. This will make them responsible and practical.

2. Service Dogs

These are dogs who receive proper training and official certification to do those things which can be challenging for kids with any disability. Puppies cannot be trained before a certain age.

However, for the first year of their lives, they are kept with a puppy raiser. Not every dog can become a service dog. They are trained to go to a public place such as a mall where any untrained dogs are not allowed.

While any dog with proper training can become a service dog, you should exclude breeds with traits that may make them less adept at being autism service dogs.

3. Therapy Dogs

Do I Have To Have Full Support Needs To Qualify For A Psd

Sometimes autistic people with minimal support needs dont qualify for service dogs. If this is your situation, you may be eligible for an emotional support animal instead.

To qualify for a service dog, a disability must prevent you from functioning in at least one aspect of daily life. If you feel this applies to you, a doctor may be able to help you qualify by screening the impact of your condition.

Recommended Reading: How To Test Your Child For Autism

Things To Consider Before Getting A Service Dog For Autism

Service dogs for both children and adults on the Autism spectrum are becoming more prevalent as people see how beneficial they can be to those who require extra support. Dogs were once only considered as a help for those who were visually impaired. Now they are expanding their repertoires by aiding those who have not only physical disabilities but mental and psychological ones as well.

For those on the Autism spectrum, a service dog can be a huge benefit. However, getting a service dog requires time, commitment, and money. Some things should be considered before you make the final decision to get a service dog for Autism.

Autism Service Dogs Are Changing Lives

Autism Service Dog For Adults Uk

Families all over the United States and the world have seen the effects firsthand of how an Autism Service Dog can change the life of their child and even bring improvements into the familys lives as a whole.

Many parents have become trapped in a tedious routine to keep their child from having self-harming meltdowns. Others live with constant fear of their child wandering from them and getting lost.

Through the help of a service dog trained specifically for the struggles of each individual child and their family, countless families have witnessed life altering changes in their child.

Read Also: Is Autism Protected Under The Ada

How Are Autism Service Dogs Used

An autism dog is trained specifically to be of aid to a person with autism. There are two main objectives for these types of dogs.

Autism service dogs are primarily considered to be service dogs, which means their number one mission is to keep the individual with autism safe. For example, when a person with ASD is out and about with their service dog, they will generally be physically connected to their animal with a leash. In this way, the dog can help lower the chance of the individual trying to bolt or cross a busy street. Service dogs are trained to adhere to commands given by parents, stop in doorways, and counter or stop the movement of a child trying to get away.

The dogs have also been trained to let parents know of any potentially dangerous situation that arises at night. For instance, if a child with autism wakes up unhappy or gets up in the middle of the night and walks around, the dog will alert the parents. This helps keep the individual with autism safe and helps parents and caretakers remain calmer and happier knowing any safety concerns that might arise at night are less of a concern due to the service dog.

Emotional Support Service Dogs Improve Behaviors In Children With Autism

Research states that animals serve as a mood booster, helping alleviate conditions such as depression, anxiety, fear, worry, and many other mental health conditions. Larger breeds help with deep pressure therapy, where sitting on a childs lap can provide a great sense of comfort.

They also soften the heart and allow others to build values such as empathy and compassion, which would then be used in other aspects of life. It really is a win for the entire family and children for whom the services are provided.

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Service Dogs For Autism

From the outside looking in, many individuals with autism appear just like any other average person. There are usually no outward signs that make them stick out from the crowd as someone with a disability, but autism, nonetheless, can be debilitating. Many of the battles autistic individuals fight are dealt with in their minds. They often look and act fairly normal, but there are certain activities that are beyond difficult for them to tackle in their everyday lives.

One of the hardest things about having autism is that there isnt a cure. However, although there isnt a cure, there are still several interventions, such as prescriptions, therapy, and service animals, that can be used to help make life easier. For example, a service dog is one of the best solutions for someone with autism, as it aids in communication, behavior, and social interaction. These are the main areas in which autism tends to affect a person the most. Autism is a spectrum disorder that varies by individual, so not all the needs of an autistic individual are the same. Some individuals with autism will benefit greatly from a service animal while others on the highly functioning end of the spectrum may be able to proceed in life without one. Therefore, it is up to the individual and those around them to determine whether a service dog or ESA may help.

Service Dogs Aid People With Autism

How a service dog transformed daily life for a boy with autism

There is a Native American legend that says that after creating humankind, the Spirits created a chasm between their world and ours. And although Dog had the opportunity to return to the spirit world, at the last moment, he leapt over the widening gap to remain with us. Scientifically speaking, archeological records confirm that the relationship between humans and canines dates back at least 14,000 years.

The primary motivation for obtaining an assistance dog is increased independence and community inclusion. However, assistance dogs also provide their human partners with social and emotional support, and whats referred to as social capital.

Studies indicate that being partnered with an assistance dog can increase emotional well-being of individuals with disabilities, and increase social interactions, both short and long-term. For individuals with autism, an increase in avenues for social acceptance and interaction is extremely meaningful.

The Role of the Autism Service Dog

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of discussing autism service dogs is how much variety there is in the tasks assigned to these workers. And although each assistance dog must be trained to work in tandem with its specific human partner, there is a bit more consistency in training traditional guide and service dogs than with autism service dogs whose duties may include:

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Service Dog

Acquiring a Service Dog

Public Access Issues

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What Peoplesay About Us

Lukey joining our family has been life changing for us. Not having to worry so much about Ryans safety while out in public is amazing. We are doing things we havent tried in years.”

Bella works with our daughter Jaime who is on the autism spectrum. Our lives have changed since Bella has been with us. We are now able to go to many places that in the past were impossible to enter. Bella grounds Jaime by giving her a sense of security. Bella has given us, Jaimes parents, a safety-net feeling where we know Jaime wont bolt into traffic or run away. We all feel a sense of relief because of our autism service dog.

Alex has a compulsive tendency to touch things. It severely impaired his day to day life. Going short distances took a considerable amount of time because he had to touch everything! Now with Pepsi at his side, he walks confidently and with virtually no tapping! Pepsi also keeps Alex focused on the task at hand and prevents him from wandering away.

Expect More From Yourservice Dog Provider

We work with schools, doctors, therapists, caregivers, and extended family members to help educate those in your community about your service dog. Our waiting list is shorter than most. It is currently 18-24 months from the time your application is accepted until the time we schedule the delivery of your autism assistance dog or service dog. Our application process is simple and we can help walk you through each step of it. We do not charge any application fees and applying for a service dog is free!

Inclusive Process
Global Delivery
Changing Lives
Unbeatable Service

Recommended Reading: Can Autistic Child Become Normal

What Do We Evaluate/take Into Consideration When Evaluating For Our Autism Service Dog Program

  • Does the type of request fall into our scope of practice/limitations and have realistic expectations?
  • Based on the clients needs, is it likely that we can locate and train a dog within a reasonable amount of time?
  • Does the client seem realistic and accept our application, training, placement and follow-up practices?
  • Is the client close enough to our facility to allow for follow-up services, or can other arrangements be made?
  • Is the client capable of assuming financially the estimated annual cost of a service dog such as grooming, food, insurance, etc.
  • Does the client appear able to adequately care for a service dog?
  • Does the client have basic adequate knowledge for a service dog?
  • Does the client live in an environment that would be safe, comfortable and spacious enough for a dog?
  • Does the client demonstrate a desire to communicate with and become a partner with the Asista Foundation?
  • Does the client have other animals at home that can harm the integration process of a service dog?
  • Is the candidate old enough to interact with the service dog?

Meeting the evaluation criteria does not guarantee acceptance of the program. The eligibility of a person is also subject to a thorough analysis of the application by the admissions department.

How Can Autism Service Dogs Help With Aspergers

Dogs provide therapy at work for autistic adults

Autism service dogs, like any others, are trained to perform specific tasks to help their human companions navigate the world. Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by impairments in communication skills and social interaction, as well as by the presence of challenging behaviors, and autism service dogs can be life-changing partners, helping people with autism gain confidence and independence.

Read Also: Can Adults With Autism Live Normal Lives

What Should Every Parent Consider Before Getting An Autism Service Dog

Before getting an autism service dog for your child you need to be sure that the child is not afraid of dogs and can get along with them. It is not mandatory that the child is an extreme dog lover, but it should be able to get along with them and not feel afraid of dogs in general. The child should not be allergic to dog fur as well.

As service dogs are trained to perform tasks, some of which can be very demanding, they need playtime and relaxation time in order to recover. Parents of children with autism need to be patient, motivated and devoted to the training and raising of the dog. If/when the behavior of the child changes through the years, the tasks that the service dog needs to perform, should be updated accordingly. The process should be supervised constantly.

Also Check: Why Do Autistic Children Flap Their Arms

The Therapeutic Benefits Of A Dog

If youre a dog person, you already know how therapeutic a dog can be. Think of how calm and centered you feel when your pet leans into you at the end of a long day. Autism service dogs take companionship to the next level, providing life-changing physical, intellectual, and emotional support.

As one trainer explains, A dog is completely nonjudgmental and unintimidating. It provides non-threatening, unconditional love. For people with autism, assistance dogs may mean the difference between a life of isolation and a life of engagement.

Top image via Flickr/nensha

Recommended Reading: What Does Autism Look Like In Girls

Help With Falling Asleep By Applying Deep Pressure

These assistance dogs help ensure the entire family gets some well-needed sleep. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep. This may have parents up at odd hours of the night trying to calm their child, so he or she can go to sleep.

Assistance dogs that help autistic children regulate their emotions, calm down and fall into a bedtime routine contribute enormously to easing parents burden. Especially when ensuring their child has a good nights sleep often to the result of them not getting much!

Benefits For Autistic Kids

Family seeks funding for service dog for child with autism

Autistic kids experience similar benefits from their service dogs, including:

  • improved sleep
  • search and rescue when an autistic kid may wander or leave supervision
  • tethering and emergency down to prevent wandering or leaving supervision
  • deep pressure therapy

Kaye-OConnor adds, Service dogs can also helpfully stand between their autistic humans and other people in crowded places, like public transportation, to help reduce overwhelm.

Service dog benefits extend to the classroom, where their presence is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act .

Some of the many educational benefits service dogs provide include:

  • calming anxiety

Service dogs can also help autistic kids develop more:

  • responsibility

Other family members benefit too. A 2017 study found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol were lower in parents when there was a service dog in the household.

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Top 6 Service Dog Breeds For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

1. Labrador Retriever

Hard-working, lovable, selfless, and kind, easy to train, calm, and eager-to-please personality of Labrador Retriever makes it the perfect choice for autism therapy.

They are kind to everyone they meet and are a wonderful choice for bonding with children with autism.

2. Golden Retriever

The list of service dogs for autism is incomplete without Golden Retriever. They are gentle, loving, patient, loyal, and exceptionally easy to train.

This breed has a calm temperament and decent intelligence. And this is the reason why they are trained as service or therapy dogs.

3. The Great Pyrenees

They are smart, patient, and has a calm temperament. The Great Pyrenees can quickly spring into action and move with grace and speed to meet a threat.

They are very bonded to and protective of their families. Their height is about 27 to 32 inches and this makes them quite sturdy.

The Great Pyrenees arent barkers. So they are best for children who are sensitive to noise. It easily learns to look after and protect an autistic child.

4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

It is considered one of the best breeds to accompany autistic children. They may look serious and dangerous but they are actually famous for their trustworthiness, loyal, and loving nature.

Many autistic children benefit from the love, care and, companionship which Staffies provide.

5. Newfoundland

6. Labradoodle

What Breeds Make The Best Therapy Dogs For Autistic Indidivuals

Common breeds for service dogs include German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Boxers and Pomeranians. These dogs are bred and trained specially for their unique calling and service.

Common family pets and pets available in pet shops or local animal shelters are not sufficient in quality service standards and specifications to serve. For this reason, you may have to research and contact a local specialist in an assistance dog to match the perfect dog for children who are autistic.

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If I Have A Dog Already Can You Train Or Certify It For Me

Unfortunately this is not a service we provide. Dogs must undergo extensive training and rigourous assesments to meet the standard required to be an assistance dog. We are accredited to Assistance Dogs International and follow their guidelines and standards for qualifying assistance dogs. The dogs that qualify as assistance dogs will have spent 18-24 months within our training programme undergoing regular assesments and evaluation.

Common Treatments And Coping Mechanisms For Aspergers/autism

Autism Service Dog For Adults Uk

Currently, the traditional medical field offers several services for your adult or child with Aspergers or another autism spectrum disorder. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy can help address anxiety and other personal challenges.
  • Social skills training classes can help with conversational skills and understanding social cues.
  • Speech therapy can help with voice control.
  • Physical and occupational therapy can improve coordination.
  • Psychoactive medicines can help manage associated anxiety, depression and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder .

Autism Speaks website has more information here.

As more and more people seek holistic alternatives for their adult or child with autism, when developing their treatment plans, the use of assistance animals such as autism assistance dogs is becoming more commonplace.

To evolve with these times, CertaPet has made the process for this revolutionary service completely digital, not to mention easy to navigate. We provide a free, confidential screening test which takes less than 5 minutes to determine your candidacy. From there, you will be matched with a licensed mental health professional in your state and contacted to set up your telehealth appointment. The final step is our therapists recommendation, which includes a treatment plan with your particular service dog, and an official ESA letter if you qualify.

Also Check: How To Get Autism Assessment

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