Autism dogs are trained to assist a person with autism to improve their social interactions and relationships and expand their verbal and/or nonverbal communication. The dog can also intervene when their handler becomes over-stimulated, helping to alleviate stress.

An autism dog can help a person deal with transitions from place to place or activity to activity, increase responsibility, and add consistency to each day.

Specific tasks may include:

  • Deep pressure to prevent or respond to over-stimulation or meltdown
  • Interrupting self-harming, self-stimulating, or repetitive behavior
  • Finding the person with autism and/or finding a parent or other person
  • Resting their head in the person’s lap (“visit”) for calming or refocusing
  • Sitting between the person’s legs (“place”) for comfort and focusing

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