How a service dog helps children with autism

Jan 17, 2021 | Dogs, Mental Health, Psychiatric Service Dog, Service Dogs

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder these days. It affects the daily tasks and mental state of both children and adults. As the number of people with autism increases, autism treatment methods are developing in a variety of areas. A particular option is the use of service dogs, which allow children with autism to live more independent and fulfilling lives. When we think of service dogs, we usually associate them with guide dogs for the visually impaired. In fact, service dogs have been used for many years in many different fields. In addition to the deaf, service dogs help people of all ages with physical disabilities, anxiety, diabetes and autism.

A qualified service dog for people with autism must receive special training related to the activities of the trainer. The dog’s job is to provide companionship and safety for children with autism. Most parents who have a child with autism say that with the help of service dogs for autism, family stress is reduced.


New social opportunities to make friends



Children with autism prefer to stay at home in their personal space, but dogs are social animals by nature and require daily routines such as outdoor walks and regular meals. Walks with a service dog can give autistic children additional opportunities for exercise and companionship. Outdoors, a dog is a “magnet” that attracts a lot of attention. When someone comes up and asks to pet a service dog, children are forced to interact with others, which can reduce the sense of isolation in unfamiliar environments that almost all autistic children experience. Communication is the process of learning about sharing (a service dog) and making friends.


Learning to plan a schedule



Children living with dogs can learn how to care for a dog and maintain a daily schedule. For autistic children, service dogs are also their close friends who can influence their daily routines. They should plan a schedule for feeding, playing, and walking with their dog. This is an effective way to change their unplanned life. In addition, having a service dog greatly increases children’s responsibility and reduces parental stress.




One of the dog’s daily activities is play, which also plays an important role for the child. Encouraging children with autism to play simple games (like hide-and-seek) with their service dog is a great way to teach them about sharing and taking turns. Also, dogs give unconditional love and never care who wins. This helps build close friendships, which is very important for an autistic child.


Crossing the road safely



Many children with autism are unaware of the dangers on the road, which can lead to accidents if parents are not watching their child. Service dogs for children with autism can teach children manners on the street, which is a great way to make children safer and more aware of road safety.


Helping them overcome fear



Autistic children are very sensitive and fearful of most outside activities such as going to the dentist, getting vaccinated, going shopping and starting school. In the company of a service dog, they can calm down and take their mind off their fears. Trained dogs that lay their heads on a child’s lap provide reassuring pressure and a sense of calm, which is very helpful for a child when they have an emotional breakdown.


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