Why Autism Service Dogs are Soul-mates of Autistic Children and a Handy Friend of the Parents
An autism service dog is a constant companion to an autistic child, which keeps a sharp look at potential dangers that the child may run into. It warns parents of any risk hazard involving the child. The specially-trained dog helps child in sensory and tactile development as well.
Certain dogs are trained to look after kids and take care of their safety by nudging them away from the hazard or notifying the parents about a potential danger in sight. These specially trained canine friends are basically service dogs which are appointed by parents for the welfare of their autistic child.
Just like any other service dog, an autism service dog would have prior tasks allotted for it to perform. Unlike other service dogs however, it would take commands from the parents and not from the child for whom it is working. The dog would also be more intuitive in its action where it would judge whether the child requires help or not.
Scenario 1: Consider a situation where a dog is tethered to the child’s belt and walks on side of the road. Suddenly, the child tries to cross the road even when cars are moving at a high speed. The autism service dog would stand still or sit down so as to stop the child from taking such a step.
Scenario 2: Consider another situation where the child has a seizure at night while sleeping or the child sleepwalks in the middle of the night. The service dog would at once go up to the parent’s room and nudge them with a motive to show that something is wrong.
Scenario 3: In another situation, the child suddenly experiences a meltdown. The emotional outburst is not only troublesome for the child but also the parents who don’t know what exactly to do. The child can be taught to hug the dog, which incredibly has a wonderful calming effect on the child. The “deep pressure” movement administered in the process mitigates the emotional stress of the child.
Scenario 4: Often situations arise where autistic kids perform repetitive actions – much to the dismay and embarrassment of the people or friends near them. For instance, a child starts slapping its left cheek again and again. To dissuade such actions, the autism service dog would simple distract the child from the activity and direct the attention elsewhere.
Perfect Breed for Autism Service Dogs
Not all dogs can be service dogs – especially the ones to deal with autistic child. An autism service dog must be obedient, responsible, intelligent and intuitive to understand when to act. Many parents choose Labrador and Golden Retriever as they can control the impulsive actions of their child.
However, others picked Newfoundland as it is gutsy, fluffy kind that was able to provide the much-needed “deep pressure”. This dog belonged to the working group with herding nature, which allowed them to intuitive act against danger and guide the child against emotional upheavals. Mastiff and Saint Bernard also fall in this group.
No wonder, autism service dogs are the child’s best friend in need.