What is Autism?
The Mayo Clinic defines Autism as one of a group of serious developmental problems called autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that appear in early childhood — usually before age 3. Though symptoms and severity vary, all autism disorders affect a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.
The number of children diagnosed with autism appears to be rising. It is not clear whether this is due to better detection and reporting of autism, a real increase in the number of cases, or both.
While there is no cure for autism, intensive, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children with the disorder. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autism/DS00348
How Can a Service Dog Assist a Child, Teen or Adult with Autism?
Impulsive Running: Service dog retrieves individual
PICA: Service dog interrupts behavior
Self-harming Behavior: Service dog will interrupt behavior
Night Awakenings: Alerts parents by barking
Social Isolation: Dog’s interaction shifts focus to dog.
Fire Alarms: Service dog barks/alerts the individual and family to get out
Mood Swings: Service dog leans into or climbs into lap to calm individual
Streets: Service dog will stop individual from walking into the street
Sneaking Out: Service dog alerts parents by barking
Nightmares: Service dog will crawl into bed to calm individual
Medication: Reminds individual by pawing and barking
Wandering/Getting lost: Track and find individual/offer protection
These are just a few examples of what your service dog can be trained to do.
AAD no long trains service dogs, but might use its therapeutic programs to work with autism as soon as we reorganize this month of January.