An autism assistance dog is a service dog trained to assist a person on the spectrum to help gain independence skills and the ability to engage in daily activities. These highly skilled dogs are more than pets. They are trained to keep their child companion safe. Attached via a belt to the child, the dogs listen and respond to the commands of the parent/handler. The dog’s primary focus is to prevent the child from running into danger when they are out and about.
They are also trained to provide safety and to support the child with autism to overcome the distressing elements of their disability and to live the life that they deserve.
Other benefits of the autism assistance dogs include:
- Reducing anxiety and stress not just for the and the family as a whole
- Supporting the child in learning coping mechanisms that last a lifetime
- Improving communication skills
- Increasing confidence
- Easing sleeping problems
Organisations which provide this service are:
Bear in mind that dogs for autistic people are in huge demand and there is likely to be a waiting list. Additionally, an autism assistance dog will require upkeep between a high-quality diet, regular vet visits, grooming and equipment. As a result, you’ll need to do some budgeting in advance of your decision.