autistic children benefit greatly from service dogs

Autism currently afflicts one out of every 50 children in the United States between the ages of 6 and 17, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The disorder hinders the ability to interact normally with others, due to parts of the brain not working well with each other. No one really knows the cause and research is ongoing. Some parents are now turning to service dogs to help their autistic children cope with the disorder. And thus far, the results have been positive. Caring for a dog may seem like an additional burden in an already difficult situation, but with some simple lifestyle changes (for example your car –, you’ll find that the benefits far outweigh the costs of a new furry friend.

A child holding a dog

Training service dogs

A recent study by the MIRA Foundation in Quebec, which trains assistance dogs, found that matching children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with trained service dogs can help improve the stress hormone levels in these children. Trainers of autism-assistance service dogs use specific techniques. They focus on training the dogs to recognize certain behaviors and act accordingly with rewards and appropriate training devices, like the ones from PetSafe. These dogs bring more stability to affected families and give stressed-out parents a much-needed break from constant supervision. While we briefly mention the topic of stress, some dogs can suffer from this too, which is why it comes as no surprise to find that some people may opt to use the best cbd oil for dogs on the market, in the hopes of relieving the symptoms. If a dog is stressed out, they won’t be able to perform their tasks effectively.

Pine-Richland School District, Pennsylvania

The parents of Sean Forsythe, a second grader diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, has been attempting to work with their school district to allow Sean’s trained and certified service dog, Sophia, to accompany him in his classroom. Since Sophia entered his life, Sean has been able to control his emotional outbursts and other related problems much better, according to the Pine-Richland Patch. Sophia was trained to recognize when Sean is about to have a flare-up in temper or other behavioral problems, and intervene.

Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada

The Wilson family of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, brought a two-year-old black lab service dog named Cagney home to help their son Jonathan cope with his aggressive and anti-social behavior. Having the calm and alert Cagney nearby has done wonders for Jonathan’s social and academic development, according to

The youngster’s anxiety levels and aggression have noticeably declined not just at home, but at school. He is now able to join classmates at recess and even play on the basketball team.

Newton, NJ

Aimee and Stephen Dolinac’s son Andrew has Pediatric Bipolar Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder, causing frequent bouts of unpredictable and chaotic behavior. It is impossible for him to attend public schools as a result. Almost at their breaking point, the Dolinacs were pointed by their doctor to the 4 Paws For Ability organization, which trains and places dogs with families experiencing similar problems.

The Dolinacs have so far raised about $1,000 for the cost of a dog, the New Jersey Herald reported. The placement of a dog will alleviate the child’s loneliness and be a cherished companion to the entire family for many years.

Service animals have provided families with autistic children a chance for normalcy and stability. Autistic children can feel more secure and functional from the unconditional love that only a dog can give.

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