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Which is Right for My Child My Family?
AAAD understands that Autism is a family disability, our goals are to enhance individual independence and life satisfaction of each child and their familes.
Children with Autism are often misunderstood because the process
information in a different way

Autism Assistance Dogs 

OR 

Autism Companion  Dogs 

Dog with a Job

Most importantly following a routine is going to be a key to your child’s success, as well as to the dog’s.

Before AAAD discuss what kind of dog might be best for you or child, please consider the following questions if you haven’t already:

*    Does your child like dogs?

*    Might your child or anyone else in the household have allergies that might be aggravated by a dog?

*    Is your family prepared and ready to take on the long-term commitment and expense of caring for a dog in sickness and in        health?

*   Are you comfortable handling a dog while caring for your child in public? Even with a highly trained service dog, many               parents have told us they were surprised how difficult this could be. Remember, the dog is looking to you (the adult) for             direction and commands. At the same time, your child may need your full attention?

You are correct to recognize a difference between a assistance dog and a companion dog that’s well-behaved and well-trained. In fact, that’s what we usually recommend when a family comes to us for advice on choosing a dog for a child who has autism.

'Here are some distinctions to consider when deciding which type of dog is right for a child – or adult – who has autism:


Receive extensive training  to help perform functions that present a challenge for a person with  autism and pfficial certification that  mandates that people can bring their assistance  dogs in all public areas. Our assistance  dogs typically wear a vest or a working vest with handles or harness, that identifies them.

Each assistance dog is trained according to the needs of the person it will assist. 

An autism service dog, for example, can accompany a child to decrease anxiety during medical or dental visits, (school activities,only a few school permit this )  shopping and travel. Some autism dogs are trained to recognise and gently interrupt self-harming behaviors or help de-escalate an emotional meltdown. For instance, it might respond to signs of anxiety or agitation with a calming action such as leaning against the child (or adult) or gently laying across his or her lap.

Parents have asked us about getting a assistance dog to safeguard their child from wandering. Generally, we do not recommend this. Tethering a dog to a child can be extremely dangerous. Like any animal, assistance  dog can panic under stress, resulting in tragedy for both the child and dog. So this practise is only recommended for some teams While some organisations claim they can train dogs to stop children from leaving a home or yard, dogs are not appropriate babysitters. They can get fatigued and inattentive. If this is a fear to you consider a tracking device, alarm systems etc technology is the way to 

 

 


An affectionate dog provides unconditional love and friendship on a daily basis. Walking the dog provides both exercise and a “social magnet” to ease conversation with other children. Learning to care for the dog teaches responsibility and practical skills. And pets provide parents with opportunities to teach and model caring behaviors and consideration of a friend’s needs – both important social skills.

If you’re considering purchasing or adopting a dog, we suggest golden retrievers, labs and labradoodles (lab-poodle mixes) because these breeds tend to have a calm temperament and high intelligence.

When it comes to adopting a rescue dog, we have one caveat. Many rescue dogs have unknown histories. That makes it difficult to predict how they will react when they feel frightened or threatened. Would the dog bite your child if he grabbed it roughly? Is it prone to chase cats? Attack other dogs? Some rescue dogs have been abused and so become fearful around certain people such as men.

Whether you decided on a companion dog, or assistatance dog  selecting the right animal means finding a highly individual “match” – with the child’s needs as well as the family. AAAD may be able to help with this process. However, it’s a process that takes patience – with home visits and special training and waiting periods . We hope this information on your options and what each can offer a child with autism – will help guide your choice.

Your goal is a very special connection between your child and the dog. When this happens, it can be magical!

PLEASE NOTE BOTH THESE PROGRAMS DELIVER DOGS WITH OUTSTANDING CAPABILITIES.