- Julia Mitchell
5 Benefits of Service Dogs for Children With Autism
In recent years, the research on helping children with autism develop and cope has produced bountiful information. Parents now have many options to help their children. Service dogs are a proven source of comfort and assisted growth for children on the spectrum. Autism Vision of Colorado gives you a few reasons why you might consider getting a service dog for your child.
1. Taking Care of Them Is Easy
Getting a dog is a big decision. For many people, the prospect of adding an animal to the home feels like taking on too much work. However, service dogs are professionally trained and very well-behaved. Taking care of them is mostly about the simple parts of dog care, but you want to be sure you do it properly. Read in-depth reviews about products, such as dog food, treats, and toys, to ensure they are healthy. Make sure the dog has a safe outdoor space. This may mean installing a fence. Before you meet with any fencing contractors, read company reviews online from previous customers. Then talk about the cost of materials and installation. Finally, make sure they have all the proper licensing and are aware of all utility lines.
2. You Child Will Bond With Them
There are even benefits to the adjustment process of having a service dog. Children with autism may have trouble connecting with others, but, as Bridges to Recovery points out, the bond they form with the dog can help them adjust better to social interactions. Part of the adjusting process is to grow that bond by limiting stress when you first bring the dog home. Dogs can easily pick up on anxiety and stress leaves, and this can lead to behavioral issues. Do what you can to limit stress in the home so your child has a chance to bond with their dog.
3. They Provide Companionship
Anxiety is a common issue for children with autism. The ADA National Network notes that the companionship provided by service dogs can help ease the symptoms of anxiety. Once they make that initial bond, your child will feel the benefits of having a companion around them at all times. Giving your child a sense of constant protection can help them feel more confident to try new things. Additionally, service dogs can help them learn to perform daily tasks and be there to remind them.
4. You Can Choose the Breed You Want
Service dogs come in a variety of breeds. In fact, there are no significant limitations to what breeds can become service dogs. However, many training companies work with only one specific breed because it makes the training process easier. If you are uncertain about what breed of service dog is best for your family, the most popular are Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labradoodles.
5. Increase Interest in Activities
The security that service dogs provide children with autism helps them gain independence. Having that support always by their side creates a safe space for them to explore their interests and get more involved in activities. Service dogs are trained specifically to accommodate children based on their position on the spectrum. Therefore, the services they offer are specific to your child's needs.
Service dogs provide an irreplaceable companionship and sense of connectedness that children on the spectrum need. They also become beloved members of the family. Consider talking to your doctor about the benefits and what you need to get started on the process of adopting.
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Julia Mitchell runs outspiration.net; you can also reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autism Vision of Colorado educates the community on autism and creates a safe place for individuals on the spectrum and their families to meet one another, support one another and advocate within the community. Contact us today to learn more! (719) 210 5895