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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

service dogs?

Posted by on Sep. 9, 2012 at 2:53 AM
  • 5 Replies

do you guys have a service dog for your kids and if so what are they trained to do. my friend brought it up to me because i just rescued this adorable puupy that is extremly trainable and i could use him for my son he is a german sheapard mix they are naturol working dogs anyway. she also knows places that will train a dog for free to be a service dog for someone who needs one i was wondering what your guys thoughts are his name is hiccup and he is the dark brown doggie not the tan one please dont mind the house 


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by on Sep. 9, 2012 at 2:53 AM
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tinkerspell
by Member on Sep. 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM
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kajira
by Emma on Sep. 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

What kind of resources do you want on it?


(the following is a blog I wrote about it when we got our new mastiff puppy.)

Our puppy's point is going to be serving as an autism service dog in our home. That is what I was training our bulldog for when he died. I still cry when I think of how much work I put into him, and how perfect he was, when he passed away.

Xena, has started her training young. She's going to be a big girl. Some of the socialization things she will need to go through will include puppy playdates, going to stores, meeting strange people, have people she doesn't know around her, or even touch her.

She's very confident, with out any fear issues. She's also super sensitive emotionally and is easily rewarded/corrected, which should make her easy to train.

She will need to be able to have a bath with out a big fuss, get brushed, have her nails trimmed, and other generic health stuff with out putting up a fight.

We gave her a bath last night, and she did really well. (I'm sure the bribing her with hotdogs to stand there and get a bath probably helped, but for a puppy, she did super well staying put and getting soaped up and rinsed off.)

Over all, she's got a perfect temperament. I've never seen such a confident, relaxed puppy. She's playful and easily trained, but she's just such a doof in a good way I can't really describe it.

So, on to some of what an autism service dog actually looks like for our family.

Service dogs have to be trained to do specific tasks. They also have to be well socialized and trained enough that they aren't just a "pet" or a companion. My rule of thumb is "can they pass the AKC good citizen award" - If they can, your dog is probably sound enough to take around people and new places... (I still prefer to go beyond this, but it's a basic level to shoot for.)

On to the task training part. Since I don't take medication and I'm not physically disabled, or really "anxious" the point of my dog is more complicated to explain.

I have hearing problems... I always thought I was deaf - and I do have hearing problems, but it's my brain, not my ears. I guess it's actually part of sensory processing and dyslexia - My dog will be trained to tell me when someone's talking to me, to help me refocus on the sound and separate it from back ground noise. A simple poke can do this. I don't like people touching me, especially strangers, but I'm fine with my dog redirecting my attention to the person or noise I need to be aware of. It could be the phone, an alarm, someone talking to me, etc. The point is just drawing my attention to any important noise if I fail to notice, or process it correctly.

In public, I prefer people to stay out of my bubble. The nice thing about a large dog is if someone wants to talk to you, they focus on the dog, and the dog is trained to stay between you, and other people. This protects my space, and my bubble, which makes me more comfortable interacting with other people. It also gives me something to talk about, which lets me look more normal, despite needing a dog.

Stimming and self regulating behaviors - this is a service, and one that's hard to explain. My goal in life isn't necessarily to fly so under the radar no one knows i'm different. I will use my dog for squishing and deep pressure compression. I prefer it over being touched by a person, and objects just aren't the same for squishing. The heart beat, the smell, the different textures of the fur between the neck and head make a dog a perfect sensory thing to focus my attention on. (this, is also why being able to take a bath with out a fight is so important, dirty dog is nasty and I can't handle rubbing my face on dirt.)

In public, instead of flapping my arms, or spinning in circles, I can pet my dog in repetitive motions that fly under the radar. It will pass off as affection, or look like I'm praising my dog, when in reality, I'm using her as a sensory outlet to keep me focused and from hoping up and down or flapping like a bird.

My dog will also be trained (hopefully) to notice if I'm picking at my face, or doing destructive behaviors, and redirect my attention on to her. I don't normally head bang, but I am prone to scratching my face with my nails subconsciously. And, I absolutely dislike having a scratched up complexion. Petting my dog at my side is a much better use of that need to scratch at something, than doing it to my face.

The thing about an autism dog in our family, is I don't have some big physical or mental thing - it's 500 little small things, that benefit me in a way that makes having a dog that can go everywhere with me, make sense.

If someone calls my name, poking me to get my attention and directing me to it. (Like at a doctors office, I've been known to not hear my name when it's been called.)

My dog can carry stuff that alerts to autism, in case I flounder with speech under pressure, and if I have my dog with me, I'm not as likely to be bullied when I can't talk by doctors, or nurses, or when I was in college, teachers.

My rottweiler a few years ago, kept a teacher from yelling at me over me not understanding a simple direction because my brain couldn't keep up with her - by keeping her out of my face when she was getting closer and standing over me - and going to yell at me. He firmly planted himself between me, and her and when she acted aggressive towards me, he untied her shoes to get her attention off me to defuse the situation.

I was not capable of telling her to back off and that she was too close to me, and I felt threatened by her behavior, and that she was upsetting me in that situation. I shut down when people act that way with me, and it has put me in situations when I don't have a dog, where i've had people hit me, kick me, scream at me, threaten me, or act in ways that they normally wouldn't respond to a regular person, simply because I either don't respond correctly, or I don't respond at all....

There are some benefits of having a dog be able to just sit between you and other people, that most people wouldn't understand when you lose your ability to talk; or don't have the words to say "Get out of my face" or "back the fuck off" or simply "I lost my ability to talk right now, I need a few minutes to process everything."

The things a service dog can do for me, are often more subtle, and less obvious than someone who's blind - but no less valuable in their own way.

Something else that is important to note for an autism service dog for our family, is that because of how my brain processes information, I've been known to not "see" the car in front of me and almost step in front of them. I walk into things, and trip and having a dog guide me around stuff like that, and prevent me from walking into things that I don't see in front of me, or even keep me from running into people in public is useful.  It also prevents me from accidental getting hurt. It's not a lack of danger, I'm extremely cautious - I want to be self-aware, I just process information slow enough that I don't always "see" the wall, or person, or car in front of me. Having a dog help with this is important too. Prevents a lot of bruised knees, or more serious injuries.

I don't feel broken because I need my dog. I feel appreciative of the things my dog can do for me, and that I live in a world, where I can have a beloved companion, that also has a job, and isn't just a pet.... I become reliant on my dog in a lot of ways. Until my bulldog died, I didn't realize just how much I relied on him on a daily basis for different things...

Here are some resources if anyone needs them (If you need/want more, just type Autism Service dogs into google or Autism Service Dog Tasks and you'll get a ton of good information ) :



http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/node/214   <-- task training for an autism service dog.

http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/

http://4pawsforability.org/autism-assistance-dog/

http://www.northstardogs.com/autism.shtml

http://www.autismepicenter.com/autism-service-dogs.shtml

http://www.codegnome.com/blogs/autism_service_dogs/articles/tasks.html  <-- more tasks.

Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

tinkerspell
by Member on Sep. 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM
Thank you very much that was wonderful

Quoting kajira:

What kind of resources do you want on it?


(the following is a blog I wrote about it when we got our new mastiff puppy.)

Our puppy's point is going to be serving as an autism service dog in our home. That is what I was training our bulldog for when he died. I still cry when I think of how much work I put into him, and how perfect he was, when he passed away.

Xena, has started her training young. She's going to be a big girl. Some of the socialization things she will need to go through will include puppy playdates, going to stores, meeting strange people, have people she doesn't know around her, or even touch her.

She's very confident, with out any fear issues. She's also super sensitive emotionally and is easily rewarded/corrected, which should make her easy to train.

She will need to be able to have a bath with out a big fuss, get brushed, have her nails trimmed, and other generic health stuff with out putting up a fight.

We gave her a bath last night, and she did really well. (I'm sure the bribing her with hotdogs to stand there and get a bath probably helped, but for a puppy, she did super well staying put and getting soaped up and rinsed off.)

Over all, she's got a perfect temperament. I've never seen such a confident, relaxed puppy. She's playful and easily trained, but she's just such a doof in a good way I can't really describe it.

So, on to some of what an autism service dog actually looks like for our family.

Service dogs have to be trained to do specific tasks. They also have to be well socialized and trained enough that they aren't just a "pet" or a companion. My rule of thumb is "can they pass the AKC good citizen award" - If they can, your dog is probably sound enough to take around people and new places... (I still prefer to go beyond this, but it's a basic level to shoot for.)

On to the task training part. Since I don't take medication and I'm not physically disabled, or really "anxious" the point of my dog is more complicated to explain.

I have hearing problems... I always thought I was deaf - and I do have hearing problems, but it's my brain, not my ears. I guess it's actually part of sensory processing and dyslexia - My dog will be trained to tell me when someone's talking to me, to help me refocus on the sound and separate it from back ground noise. A simple poke can do this. I don't like people touching me, especially strangers, but I'm fine with my dog redirecting my attention to the person or noise I need to be aware of. It could be the phone, an alarm, someone talking to me, etc. The point is just drawing my attention to any important noise if I fail to notice, or process it correctly.

In public, I prefer people to stay out of my bubble. The nice thing about a large dog is if someone wants to talk to you, they focus on the dog, and the dog is trained to stay between you, and other people. This protects my space, and my bubble, which makes me more comfortable interacting with other people. It also gives me something to talk about, which lets me look more normal, despite needing a dog.

Stimming and self regulating behaviors - this is a service, and one that's hard to explain. My goal in life isn't necessarily to fly so under the radar no one knows i'm different. I will use my dog for squishing and deep pressure compression. I prefer it over being touched by a person, and objects just aren't the same for squishing. The heart beat, the smell, the different textures of the fur between the neck and head make a dog a perfect sensory thing to focus my attention on. (this, is also why being able to take a bath with out a fight is so important, dirty dog is nasty and I can't handle rubbing my face on dirt.)

In public, instead of flapping my arms, or spinning in circles, I can pet my dog in repetitive motions that fly under the radar. It will pass off as affection, or look like I'm praising my dog, when in reality, I'm using her as a sensory outlet to keep me focused and from hoping up and down or flapping like a bird.

My dog will also be trained (hopefully) to notice if I'm picking at my face, or doing destructive behaviors, and redirect my attention on to her. I don't normally head bang, but I am prone to scratching my face with my nails subconsciously. And, I absolutely dislike having a scratched up complexion. Petting my dog at my side is a much better use of that need to scratch at something, than doing it to my face.

The thing about an autism dog in our family, is I don't have some big physical or mental thing - it's 500 little small things, that benefit me in a way that makes having a dog that can go everywhere with me, make sense.

If someone calls my name, poking me to get my attention and directing me to it. (Like at a doctors office, I've been known to not hear my name when it's been called.)

My dog can carry stuff that alerts to autism, in case I flounder with speech under pressure, and if I have my dog with me, I'm not as likely to be bullied when I can't talk by doctors, or nurses, or when I was in college, teachers.

My rottweiler a few years ago, kept a teacher from yelling at me over me not understanding a simple direction because my brain couldn't keep up with her - by keeping her out of my face when she was getting closer and standing over me - and going to yell at me. He firmly planted himself between me, and her and when she acted aggressive towards me, he untied her shoes to get her attention off me to defuse the situation.

I was not capable of telling her to back off and that she was too close to me, and I felt threatened by her behavior, and that she was upsetting me in that situation. I shut down when people act that way with me, and it has put me in situations when I don't have a dog, where i've had people hit me, kick me, scream at me, threaten me, or act in ways that they normally wouldn't respond to a regular person, simply because I either don't respond correctly, or I don't respond at all....

There are some benefits of having a dog be able to just sit between you and other people, that most people wouldn't understand when you lose your ability to talk; or don't have the words to say "Get out of my face" or "back the fuck off" or simply "I lost my ability to talk right now, I need a few minutes to process everything."

The things a service dog can do for me, are often more subtle, and less obvious than someone who's blind - but no less valuable in their own way.

Something else that is important to note for an autism service dog for our family, is that because of how my brain processes information, I've been known to not "see" the car in front of me and almost step in front of them. I walk into things, and trip and having a dog guide me around stuff like that, and prevent me from walking into things that I don't see in front of me, or even keep me from running into people in public is useful.  It also prevents me from accidental getting hurt. It's not a lack of danger, I'm extremely cautious - I want to be self-aware, I just process information slow enough that I don't always "see" the wall, or person, or car in front of me. Having a dog help with this is important too. Prevents a lot of bruised knees, or more serious injuries.

I don't feel broken because I need my dog. I feel appreciative of the things my dog can do for me, and that I live in a world, where I can have a beloved companion, that also has a job, and isn't just a pet.... I become reliant on my dog in a lot of ways. Until my bulldog died, I didn't realize just how much I relied on him on a daily basis for different things...

Here are some resources if anyone needs them (If you need/want more, just type Autism Service dogs into google or Autism Service Dog Tasks and you'll get a ton of good information ) :



http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/node/214   <-- task training for an autism service dog.

http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/

http://4pawsforability.org/autism-assistance-dog/

http://www.northstardogs.com/autism.shtml

http://www.autismepicenter.com/autism-service-dogs.shtml

http://www.codegnome.com/blogs/autism_service_dogs/articles/tasks.html  <-- more tasks.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
kajira
by Emma on Sep. 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM

You are welcome, and good luck with your dog!

aidensmomma508
by Wendy on Sep. 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM
2 moms liked this
Emma you rock how helpful
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