04 Mar Service Dogs for Children with Autism
Service Dogs for Children with Autism
Children with ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, deal with a lot of unique challenges and finding solutions to overcome those challenges can be quite difficult. Luckily, there are plenty of tools, resources, and treatment options available to help children with autism to overcome those challenges and live happier healthier lives.
One of those intervention options is a service dog.
Service dogs can be difference makers for toddlers and children with autism, and if you’re just finding out about this while raising your child with ASD, here are a few reasons to consider a service dog.
What is a Service Dog for Children with ASD?
A service dog is a specially trained dog.
This isn’t just any normal training. Service dogs are typically trained as soon as they’re weaned from their mothers, and their handlers equip them with the skills necessary to provide emotional support, protection, and a way to communicate should the child be unable to do so themselves.
This training is a rigorous process that ensures the dog can go well beyond the general duties of a household pet.
What Can a Service Dog Offer?
The list of things a service dog can do is baffling. First and foremost, a service dog is trained to be gentle and provide emotional support. They can help relax a child with ASD and sense when their emotions are beginning to get the best of them, and they can generally help with mood regulation to make your child happier in their day-to-day life.
However, they are also trained to offer protection. This doesn’t just mean threats like most people think when they imagine a protective dog. A service dog can help keep your child from running into busy streets when you’re not paying attention, keep them away from dangerous items in your house such as appliances, and generally keep them safe in their environment despite their curiosity.
Another benefit of service dogs is that they can use their keen senses to identify when something is wrong and notify you or another source of help if the need arises. For example, if your child hurts themself, reacts to a certain food, or is incapacitated, the service dog can seek help and direct that help to your child.
Finally, some autistic children have trouble doing basic tasks; this is especially true when they’re very young. A service dog can support them throughout these daily tasks and do things such as getting around, exercising, getting to the bathroom safely, and various other things
How Much Does a Service Dog Cost?
Unfortunately, service dogs are not cheap. On average, you can expect to pay $15000 for a fully trained. However, the benefits that a dog will offer your child, and your family as a whole, are worth far more than the initial price of the dog.
Furthermore, many organizations are willing to help you cover these costs, and many families have seen great success turning to social funding platforms thanks to the generosity of people around the world.
There are options available to help reduce, or even eliminate, the expensive costs involved in adopting a service dog.
A Service Dog Can Be a Fundamental Part of Intervention
A service dog can create a safe, emotionally positive, and stable environment for your child living with ASD.
If you need a service dog for your child, consider reaching out to your local ASD support channels for help finding and securing a properly trained service companion.