Did you know that autism service dogs have been scientifically proven to lower stress hormones in some kids with autism? This can result in a child being more calm, focused and regulated!
In addition, tethering can help a child with autism focus on the task at hand by offering them a reminder of where they are in relation to their environment. In other words, if the child focuses elsewhere & starts to wander, the tether system helps them refocus and stay on task.
We have a group of commands we call "companion commands". These commands are used to help develop the bond between child and dog as well as serve as tools to help a child with autism related with their peers. Because who doesn't love a dog with a few tricks up their ... ummm ... paw?
Did you know that having a dog sleep on the bed can help a child with autism sleep through the night? The dogs presence helps the child know where their body is in space and that helps them feel safe. Many children are able to sleep through the night in their own bed for the first time ever when they get their Good Dog!
Often when a child gets an autism service dog it's their first opportunity to care for another being. This added responsibility can be both exciting and motivating!! Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually most of our kids take on the responsibility of brushing both teeth and fur, feeding and bathing their best friend.
Autism Service Dogs can be a bridge to Independence for our kids! Here Good Dog! Dude accompanies Alex at Disneyland & on the bus! Go Dude!
It's Autism Awareness Month! Why not HUG someone with autism ... or let them hug you. ❤️ Some of our kids want to be the one in control when touching or hugging. Our Hug command gives kids the opportunity to get the sensory input they seek on their terms.
We encourage you to:
1. Be aware : take time to learn something you didn't already know about autism.
2. Take action : help a family, volunteer or donate to an autism organization.
3. Be accepting : make a pledge to be loving and accepting to all people, especially those who may act or behave differently. And if you need a role model for this last one… just look to our furry canine friends!
Have you ever wondered why your dogs favorite treats don't always do the trick in high stress situations? Something to keep in mind throughout your training process is the level of value your treats hold.
by Laura Sylvester
Two months ago we celebrated the graduation of the Good Dog! Autism Companions Class of 2015. Presently we are hard at work matching our newest teams for our next rising class. When we begin matching potential canine and human pairs, there are several factors to consider. Good Dog! uses a three tiered system to evaluate personality compatibility, the child’s specific needs, and family environment.
When our service pups in-training reach approximately 16 months of age we begin the matching process, where we assess for potential compatibilities between our dogs and the parent handlers. Using Bonnie Bergin’s “Social Styles” scale, we assess both the parent and dog’s levels of assertiveness and responsiveness. Our team plots both the dog and parent’s traits onto a grid to see how they fall in relation to one another. Bergin’s “Social Styles” allow us to classify each person and pup into four basic categories: analytical, driver, amiable, and expressive. Each category can be further divided into subcategories: analytical-analytical, driver-analytical, amiable-analytical, expressive-analytical, driver-driver, driver-amiable, drver-expressive, amiable-amiable, amiable-expressive, expressive-expressive, and expressive-driver.
Have you ever wondered why your dog chooses to chew on your personal belongings or furniture rather than the million toys you have for them? Or why he chooses your child's toys over his own? I have three suggestions to help change this: