Autism Assistance Dogs
Role of a Service Dog
The Service Dog’s Role is to assist the participant to achieve therepeutic and educational goals aimed to assit that participant to achieve a better framework in which to move towards a better quality of life, higher level of empowerment and independence and, FULL inclusion, on their terms, into family, community and society at large.
The service dog will also assit the participant to;
Relax and be less anxious
Walk outside and be more settled
Encourage MORE positive interaction and conversation with neighbours and friends
Develop responsibility, caring, empathy and focus
Remain in place without "escaping"
Do daily exercise
Have a reason to get out of the house
Draw positive attention
To ALWAYS have a friend
Never be alone
Early group ( 2 – 4 yrs)
Sessions assisting children to be more relaxed to aid and encourage communication and allow children to be comfortable in the presence of Dogs and allowing them to enjoy very varied sensory input that is a Dog.
Advanced group (4 – 5 yrs)
Sessions become more interactive and start to use Dog as a behavioural tool, communication catalyst and as a reinforcement in regular therapy sessions.
Initial individual program( 6 – 9)
Dog is bonded to child but used intensively by care team to better manage the child's program.
Secondary individual program( 9 - 15)
At this stage the participant is now old enough to take care of the Dog and begins to form a symbiotic relationship that will last through the Dog’s life.
Transition and empowerment program
This stage is undertaken by people that are ready to undertake activities aimed at empowering them to become more independent in community and society. In this stage the dog become the mate that assists in all circumstance.