10 Ways Dogs Can Help Children With Autism And Special Needs


 

Dogs can be a great help to Children with and autism and special needs in their daily life. These dogs can become constant companions to these children and help them improve social interactions and relationships. Dogs also help increase children's interest in activities and expand their communication skills. You may need to choose between service dogs, companion dogs or therapy dogs.   

Service dogs help with the everyday tasks their owner is unable to do for themselves. Like pick up dropped items, turn-off or turn-on lights and perform other tasks to assist their partner. Therapy dogs are live animals, trained to be affectionate and comfortable with people. They make people feel better by providing emotional comfort and affection. Their presence can reduce the stress of being hospitalized, or make a trip to the doctor's office not seem so bad.  They calm people who have anxiety or depression. Companion dogs are, well, companions. They like to join you when you’re on the couch, and when you go on walks. They love you unconditionally and are always there for you when you’re feeling down. 

There are a lot of ways these dogs help special needs children like

1. Dogs can help stop self-injurious behavior.

A Service Dog can be a huge help to children and adults who are autistic or who have special needs. The act of having a Service Dog by your side has been shown to help stop self-injurious behavior among autistic and special needs individuals. The dog provides an anchor, and having an attentive and loving being close by can help comfort a child. That's especially important for children who have communication difficulties.

2. Dogs can help with social interactions and engagement.

For some children and adults with autism or other special needs dog therapy is a great way to help them overcome their social anxieties. Dogs help them to become more engaged with the world and to interact with others more easily socialize. Service dogs can help kids with autism and special needs with social interactions and engagement. This can make them more confident and improve their quality of life. These dogs can make a big difference for people on the autism spectrum. They provide social support, engagement, and empathy.

3. These animals can help provide reassurance during anxiety.

Having a service dog has been shown to decrease anxiety levels in children with autism. The presence of the service dog gives them a feeling of control while also feeling safe and secure which can assist with their anxiety levels. Service dogs can provide a reassuring sense of calm and safety for children with autism and other special needs. Their presence can provide a sense of emotional security by demonstrating protection and providing a sense of calm. Dogs don't judge, and they provide a calming and reassuring presence to the child. They also provide physical contact, which can help to distract the person from their anxiety and help them to calm down.

4. A Service Dog can help prepare the autistic child for new surroundings. 

A service dog can be a major asset to the autistic child. It can help with social difficulties that the autistic child may have and prepare them for new surroundings that they are about to enter, like a restaurant or a dentist’s office. A service dog can also help with safety. It can’t stop an autistic child from running into the street, but it can help them remember the rules of safety, like always look left and right before crossing the road. Children with autism are often frightened from engaging in new situations. A service dog is trained to provide emotional and physical support to the child, which helps them transition into new environments and learn to recognize new surroundings.

5. Dogs can help to maintain a routine.

It’s been proven that autistic kids who have a service dog maintain a routine more consistently than those who don’t. These dogs can be a great support system for kids and adults with autism. It’s important for these children to have structure and routine. Training a Service Dog can be really helpful in this situation because you can use them as a consistent reminder. The right dog can help to maintain a routine and will help prod the person into doing everyday tasks, and prevent them from becoming overwhelmed with the sights and sounds around them.

6. A Service Dog can help deescalate an emotional meltdown and maintain calm.

Dogs are great for emotional regulation, especially in children with autism. In a study conducted by the University of Indiana, dogs were found to be great at maintaining the calm in children with autism for up to 75% of the time. This is largely because of the sense of security and calm that dogs are able to provide. They are as easy to talk to as other people, but without the same judgment. Dogs can help deescalate emotional meltdowns in autistic children and decrease the occurrence of mood swings. Dogs lower the serotonin in the body and lower the heart rate. This leaves the person feeling calm and relaxed. 

7. Dogs can help with Sensory Support and sensory integration issues.

Dogs help with Sensory Support and sensory integration issues. Dogs are a great form of company and companionship for autistic children because they can provide a great sensory experience for them. Dogs provide a calming effect through petting, and through deep pressure input that’s only usually available through physical contact. Different dogs have different temperaments. The goal is to find a dog whose personality best matches the child's, and then to learn how to use that dog to help.

8. A Service Dog can help improve Vocal Skills and speech problems. 

A service dog can help improve vocal skills and speech problems in children with autism and special needs. By owning a service dog, families of children with autism or special needs may have experienced increased communication from their child, increased attentiveness, and a decrease in anxiety.  

A service dog is a great companion for a child that has autism or special needs. Service Dogs are great for many reasons, but mostly they’re just always there to keep a family together.

9. A Service Dog can help with Companionship 

Dogs are good friends for children who develop impairment or disabilities such as autism and Down syndrome. They can make life easier for these kids and help them feel less lonely. These dogs are paired with one or two kids, giving them a companion for their autism. Dogs can make them feel loved and supported, and provide essential comfort and company. They can also help kids with special needs learn to communicate with their family and caregivers.

10. Dogs can help in behavioral issues 

Dogs have been used in therapy for a long time. Animals can be very comforting and therapeutic.  Children with autism or other special needs often have behavioral issues and other problems. Training a dog to obey basic commands can help a child feel calmer. Sometimes all it takes is someone who will listen. Dogs are known for being extremely loyal to their owners, and they don’t judge. They have been known to help calm anxiety, reduce tantrums, and form healthy attachments. Dogs have been found to be especially beneficial for children with autism, as they may struggle to make eye contact with other people, where dogs are naturally comfortable. 

Conclusion: 

You need to keep certain things in mind before going in for a dog. Firstly you and your family need to be ready to take the responsibility of long-term commitment and expense of caring for a dog in sickness and in health. Secondly when you choose the dog for your child, choose a breed which is known to have a calm temperament and high intelligence. Thirdly seek assistance from a dog agency to find the right match of the dog to your child's needs and help with the training it requires. But once these things fall in place then the connection is nothing short of magic, to help and support these kids battle the disorder.

We would love to hear your views. Please leave your comments below.

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Sources:

 

https://www.goldenmeadowsretrievers.com/how-dogs-can-help-children-with-autism/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-pet-dog-for-a-child-with-autism-whats-your-advice-3971472

https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-breeds-for-autistic-children/

https://www.bullybillows.com/blogs/news/7-ways-a-dog-can-help-people-with-autism

https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/best-dog-breeds-children-autism.html/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/pets-and-mental-health


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