Service Dogs Trained for Children With Autism
Posted on July 17, 2012 by WayCoolDogs
Service dogs trained for children with autism are different than training service dogs for adults that are physically or mentally challenged. Young dogs trained for autistic children have an entirely different philosophy in the training process, as the dog’s natural development needs to be tailored to the child’s unique autistic needs.
Traditional service animal programs
Two year old dogs are placed with human partners in traditional service animal programs, arriving fully trained. The new patients (owners) are trained to learn handling skills by three weeks. Many dogs are placed in programs prison training for the two years in order to learn the basic steps of training.
Service dogs trained for children with autism
On the other hand, children with autism have young puppies placed with them in order to develop an extremely strong bond. Each child’s needs is insured to match the dog’s training and place primary emphasis on early socialization. Both the puppy and autistic child share simulating experiences with one another, finding an optimal fit with one another. The autistic child is trained to interact with the service dog that enhance bonding with one another …. as the relationship quality is extremely vital and supervised early interactions are essential.
In the training of service dogs for children with autism, creating an early placement between a child and service dog that is safe and and effective has several risks.Extra care should be taken when picking out the service puppy.
- Unruly temperament of the service puppy
- The child may not take to the puppy
- There may be a lack of communications between the autistic child and puppy
- Look for unwanted behaviors in the service puppy that would prevent its proper training
- Puppies chosen for young autistic children need to be gentle and enjoyable
Canine Companion for Independence (CCI)
Traditional training programs like CCI can be used for new applicants, even though many of the programs have serious drawbacks in placing an autistic child with older service dogs. But …. many families have impairments that involve mobility, visual or hearing aspects. Thoroughly trained dogs that have task-specific training and a high level of intensity needed cost much more because they are trained for longer periods of time the.
By the time the young autistic child and young pup is together for about two years, the dog’s abilities and temperament are well established. Without those two years of bonding time, unpredictable behaviors would occur. Add to this, autistic children or children with developmental disabilities display unusual behaviors — loud tantrums, refuse to grant body space, and refuse to be comfortable with personal space.
The service dogs are bridges between therapy sessions and the child’ home, learning familiar cues and pragmatic language.
Children with autism often have great difficulty in generalizing learned speech to new situations and people. This is due to their overly selective attention and tendency to respond to only a limited number of cues. Using a service dog as a tool for teaching pragmatic language at home and in the community can be as simple as restructuring stock responses to the fairly predictable questions people are likely to ask when they see a well-trained dog wearing a saddle with a patch that reads “Please Ask to Pet Me.” (North Star)
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