How to train a service dog for Autism?
Several kinds of diseases are lurking around the world. Each condition has its fatal consequences that the sufferer has to face. Medical science has evolved at a rapid rate in the 21st century to cure many incurable diseases like Cancer, Malaria, Dengue, etc.
But still, there is a section of diseases that cannot be cured with any surgery or medicine but only by emotional support and care. Mental illnesses in humans have proven to be as fatal as other kinds of diseases.
Mental disease like Autism doesn’t attack only adults but can be diagnosed in childhood. A small child with mental disabilities might have a tough life to live.
What is in this article?
In this particular article, we will talk about how a service dog can help a child who has Autism. We will also discuss how to train a service dog for Autism.
What is Autism?
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is the impairment in a child’s brain to talk and communicate properly. Autism refers to the condition where the mind is not adequately developed.
The child who has Autism will have many problems to face in early childhood like,
- Abnormal voice.
- Slower in learning things.
- Abnormal facial expressions.
- Difficulty in speaking words.
- Not able to communicate.
- Social anxiety.
Service dog for an autistic child:
A service dog can be trained to protect the child from suffering from Autism. He can perform many tasks to protect the child from any physical harm.
The dog can also help the child to be calm and happy.
Things to consider before training:
- The dog selected for training must be small in age. If the dog is young, he can learn about abnormal behavior of the child from starting.
- The dog must be healthy and fit for the training and the child.
- The dog should be diagnosed for any allergen or disease.
- The dog should be friendly and calm in public places.
- The dog should always be alert and careful for the child.
- Prepare or buy some good quality food for the dog to be given as a reward.
Teaching the dog to protect the child:
- Teaching the dog to protect the child is the most critical part of the training.
- Teach the dog to protect the child harming himself by stopping the child and distracting him.
- Show the dog how to protect the child from any dangerous situations.
- Try to make him copy you.
- If he copies, reward him.
- Reward the dog with food when he protects the child.
Teaching the dog to protect the child from wandering:
- An autistic child can have anxiety in public places, and it’s possible he tries to run away from the public and the parent with him/her.
- In public places, put a leash to your dog and attach a small strap between the child and the dog.
- Whenever the child tries to wander off anywhere else, command the dog to pull the child with the leash.
- Select a creative keyword for this task, like, ‘pull,’ ‘protect,’ etc.
- If he is successful in doing so, reward him.
Teach the dog how to calm and distract the child during aggressive events.
- A child who has Autism can exhibit aggressive behavior, which can be harmful.
- Teach the service dog to calm the child during such events.
- The dog can be trained to do Deep Pressure Therapy, which will calm the child.
- Teach the dog to cuddle or play with the child during such events to distract the child.
Autism is a mental illness that strikes early in life and makes it difficult for the kid to survive with the regular crowd while the autism service dog cannot cure the child but surely can protect the child from getting into any harmful situations.
If you would like to know more about how to train a service dog for autism, refer these videos
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