How Therapy Dogs Can Support Children with Autism

How Therapy Dogs Can Support Children with Autism

Life for kids with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or other disabilities related to development or growth is challenging. There can be some nutritional issues caused where there are restrictive eating habits or sensitivities to certain textures and types of food and sometimes medication side effects might influence appetite and growth.

Kids with the condition have problems with communicating socially and short attention spans. There are different behavioural management programs and therapies that support kids with developmental and neurological disorders.

Some therapists concentrate on developing their patients’ communication skills, but others focus on minimizing problematic behaviours linked with autism. One way they achieve that is through therapy dogs, which have gone through thorough training.

Therapy Dogs for Autism

Most trainers understand that training a dog is a continuous process. This is why they offer family therapy dog training course and give certifications. The course often includes the following:

  • Dog-client matching – Many factors play an important role in determining a possible pairing of dogs and clients. Based on the client and the qualities of a dog, it might take one or two years to find a perfect match for their lifestyle, temperament, and needs.
  • Custom training – Training starts once client-dog matching is done. During training sessions that take up to six months, trainers focus on evaluating the needs of clients and offer custom training to improve the quality of life and independence of a client.
  • Team training – When custom training is done, the therapy dog for autism is taken to a client’s home and starts team training. For eight months, trainers will help clients learn how they can work with the dog in the school, workplace, and home.
  • Team support – After certification, trainers will be available to offer support. As a client, you can contact your trainers any time if you need help.

How They Support Kids with Autism

Dogs are the man’s best friend, and it’s easy to see the reasons. They don’t just love pleasing their masters. They are super clever and loyal, too. Of course, every dog has a unique personality, but in general, they are amazing companions. That’s why we regard them as the best pets for our kids with autism. Here is how they help kids with autism:

  1. Calming Kids

Autistic kids are subject to random-seeming and wild emotional outbursts. According to research, you can use a therapy dog to calm them down. Trainers train therapy dogs to remain supportive and calm during children’s tantrums.

  1. Overcome Fear

The presence of therapy dogs provides a calming focus for kids with the condition. They help them with kids’ trips to their dentists, overcoming stress and anxieties about starting schools and vaccinations.

  1. Improve Vocal Skills

Therapy dogs are trained to help autistic kids to improve their speech. Elective mutes and non-verbal children can also improve their vocal skills when they have a therapy dog as their companion.

In conclusion, therapy dogs are important to autistic kids. They don’t just help them calm them down when they have emotional outbursts. Therapy dogs also help autistic children improve their vocal skills and overcome fear.


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