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.
Examples of how a service dog may assist a person with autism include:
- Providing various levels of deep pressure to prevent or respond to over-stimulation or meltdown
- Interrupting stimming, or repetitive behaviors
- Resting their head in the person’s lap to ease anxiety or agitation
- Sitting between the person’s legs feet for tactile interaction which may increase focus and alleviate anxiety
Please note: Susquehanna Service Dogs does not permit tethering of a dog to an individual to prevent elopement.