Children with autism often have problems with social interaction and communication. Anxiety, stress and mood swings are common. The so-called autism guide dog is specially trained to support these children. The dog gives the child more self-confidence and makes the entire family more mobile.
what does the autism guide dog do?
The autism guide dog ensures that the family can make more trips and that these are less tiring, for both the parents and the child. Children with autism can sometimes run away. The parents are therefore often anxious to engage in outdoor activities with the child. An autism guide dog offers a solution to this problem. By connecting the child to the dog with a harness, the child can no longer run away. The dog has been taught to block if there is tension on the harness. By going out with the dog, the child is also often less anxious and feels safer.
Beyond this advantage outdoors, the dog is a companion to the child indoors. Children with autism often have trouble connecting with other people. The interaction with dogs is less difficult for children. Because the contact and play with the dog goes well, the child gains more self-confidence and usually goes better with other people.
The dog is often the mainstay for children with autism. The child finds in the autism guide dog a friend who accepts him as he is and does not judge him. This makes the child more relaxed and less likely to have tantrums.
Which dogs are suitable?
The Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever (or their crosses) are especially suitable for use as an autism guide dog. These dogs have a gentle and reliable character. Children with autism can sometimes be busy and play rough with the dog, it is important that the dog can handle this. The dog should always keep calm and radiate stability to the child.
What training does an autism guide dog receive?
An autism guide dog must possess basic skills. He must be obedient and well socialized. Because the dog also has to work outside the home, it is important that he is used to different situations in society. He learns all these skills during the training to become an autism guide dog. Blocking on a leash with policy also teaches the dog. Not only how to do this, but also when. By ensuring that the dog often has a confrontation with heavy-handed play and busy situations during training, the dog will no longer be surprised during his work as an autism guide dog.
When the dog has mastered all the skills, there will be an instruction period with the family where he will be placed. During this instruction, the parents learn how to handle and work with the dog. It is important that the parents understand the dog’s body language. In this way they can get the dog out of a situation that the dog does not like in time.
Which organizations are involved in this?