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 Effectiveness of Using service dogs for Children with Autism

 Effectiveness of Using service dogs for Children with Autism

 Effectiveness of Using service dogs for Children with Autism

For a youngster on the autism spectrum, communicating and grasping the meaning of words may be tough. Finding like-minded folks or adapting to unforeseen conditions, such as having a substitute teacher or having your toys shuffled about, are vital life skills. Autism, like any other disability, has specific peculiarities. Disabilities bring their problems, symptoms, and occasions to celebrate. Anyone who gets the chance to engage with autistic folks will be surprised by what they are capable of and what they can teach them. Dogs are fantastic friends and pals for youngsters with autism spectrum disorders. Children with Autism autism may benefit from dogs’ unconditional friendliness and companionship, which may assist in the development of social skills and self-confidence in the children who interact with them. This debate addresses therapy and assistance dogs for children with Autism autism.

Dogs are often described as “man’s best friend.” According to the American Pet Products Association, it is accurate that 63.4 million American people own a dog (Gross, p 50). (Gross, p50). Numerous studies have demonstrated that having a dog is beneficial to overall well-being, especially for persons who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (ASD). Trained canines may aid ASD families in three ways: at home, in therapy, and in search and rescue activities (Solomon, P. 156). (Solomon, P. 156). When a family with a kid with Autism autism contemplates adopting a therapy dog, they must analyze the therapeutic benefits, the cost, and lifestyle adjustment. When families decide to buy a dog, the attachment between the autistic child and the animal typically justifies the decision. It has been discovered that having a dog as a buddy for an autistic child has both therapeutic and other favorable behavioral consequences on the youngster. Having a dog can help children with Autism autism socially because they are more likely to talk about their condition with their peers. Children with Autism autism exhibit greater social behaviors when an animal, such as a dog, is present (Grandin, P.227). According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, children with Autism autism who have dogs are less worried than those who have not.

How dogs may help autistic children Creating and Maintaining Relationships

Making friends can be difficult for many autistic children, which is natural (and adults). To be sociable and make friends, a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) must learn the social skills necessary (Hall et al., p45). Unconditional affection can be found in dogs, which never judge or condemn children. Once they meet their new animal pal, even children who have had difficulty making friends in the past will form strong bonds with them. It is possible to alleviate your child’s loneliness and introduce them to an animal companion for the first time by getting them a puppy.

More than just entertainment and affection, species are entwined. In the words of Montefiore Medical Center’s Program for Compulsive, Impulsive, and Autism Spectrum Disorders Director, Dr. Eric Hollander, “this is much more than just delivering consolation” (Hall et al., p47). Autistic children’s use of stuffed animals has shown that they can be an important source of support and comfort for children. Using data from a survey of parents, I believe this to be true. In the opinion of one parent, spending time with a pet is an experience that cannot be replicated. Nonverbally, a dog understands you even if you don’t say anything about your problems (Gross, p 50). Many things can be learned from them, including whether or not you’re feeling well about your current situation.


Many children on the autism spectrum feel as if they are locked in their heads. If you prefer, you can use a dog to grab their attention. According to studies, children with special needs who own a dog get multiple benefits (Grandin, P.229). Dogs have even been demonstrated to boost children’s concentration and redirect them from bad habits or inappropriate behavior.

Reducing Anxiety

It has been estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of youngsters with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suffer from anxiety (Solomon, P.143). Anxious children may benefit from spending time with dogs. Even a simple cuddle with a dog can help a tiny child be afraid of everything. It’s possible that therapy dogs, taught to lie on top of children, can help reduce anxiety in children by applying a little weighted pressure (Hall et al., p46). Parents can also improve the quality of their children’s sleep by implementing these strategies.

Fostering self-assurance

For some children with ASD, exposure to dogs can be therapeutic. Children with Autism may find it easier to socialize and play outside when they have a dog around. They may even learn to sit and remain still when a dog is nearby (Grandin, P.233). As a result of their involvement in caring for the dog, the youngster’s self-esteem is boosted, and the kid’s happiness.

Meltdowns: Calming Down

Families of autistic children are well-versed in their children’s erratic behavior. When it comes to autism therapy canines, those properly trained to sense emotional cues are even better. Dogs can tell when their owners need more care, even if they are adored (Solomon, P.148).

When a youngster has an autism meltdown, trained dogs can help calm them down by leaning up close and kissing their faces.

The ability to use one’s voice

Delays in speech, nonverbal, or quiet in specific circumstances among autistic children are common. The language abilities of autistic children have been demonstrated to improve when a dog is present. Even children who cannot communicate verbally will show an increase in their vocalizations (Hall et al., p48). This is the most significant advantage of having a dog in the life of a child with Autism.

Children with Autism autism may benefit from certain types of dogs.

Companionship dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs are all options if you decide to get a dog to help your child. Your autistic youngster could benefit from the company of a well-trained family dog (Gross, p 50). These dogs will provide your child with companionship and love, but they will also help them develop a sense of self-worth and teach them responsibility and compassion. Specially trained dogs can provide psychological and emotional assistance, known as “therapy dogs.” A therapy dog can help your child’s emotional and cognitive development in addition to giving company (Leung et al., p52). Another way to help autistic children get the sensory stimulation they need is to train therapy dogs to participate in sensory activities with them.

On the other hand, service dogs are canines that have received specialized training and certification to assist people with disabilities. Schools, therapy sessions, and even restaurants are permitted destinations for service dogs if their handlers have been properly trained. It is possible to train an autistic service dog to recognize (and halt) self-harming behaviors, comfort a kid during an outburst, and bark to tell parents or guardians when a youngster needs assistance or aid from an animal (Leung et al., p52). Poodles, French bulldogs, Labrador retrievers, and other therapy dog breeds are among the best options for children with Autism.

Behavioral health clinics that use Applied Behavior Analysis, ABA, have successfully included dogs in their treatment plans. Therapy dogs can motivate children who are comfortable with dogs to participate in activities such as going for a walk or playing fetch (Grandin, p.234). Anxious children may be more afraid of unfamiliar animals since the animals may become too excited at their sight. Children in distress may not notice a search and rescue dog until it is too late to help them find a missing friend. Inexperienced animals may become overly eager when they observe a frightened child, making the child more afraid (Leung et al., p52). When children are distressed, they may not realize that a search and rescue dog is on the scene to help them find their way.

On the other hand, a trained dog can regularly save the life of a youngster. Using the scent left behind by a person’s clothing or even a bag, a dog trained to find their scent can track down the person who has gone missing. Since children with Autism may be afraid of or have difficulty comprehending what is going on during a search and rescue operation, trained dogs must go above and beyond when searching for a child with Autism (Leung et al., p52). Dog training sessions may be beneficial to help the dog learn how to respond quickly in a high-risk situation and help the kid become acclimated to being approached by dogs.


Dogs are the ideal pets for human connection. It’s a wonderful idea to purchase a caring dog for an autistic child because they require a lot of compassion and full-time care. These dogs are good because they help build a better relationship with the child, relieve the youngster, instill confidence, and settle down during meltdowns, among other benefits. They are beneficial because they help children. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training to provide companionship and assistance to those who require it. When it comes to your child’s emotional and cognitive growth, a therapy dog can be a great source of support and comfort. Another option for providing autistic children with the sensory stimulation they need is to train therapy dogs to participate in sensory activities with them. A service dog is a dog that has been trained and certified to help people who are unable to walk on their own. Even at restaurants, service dogs are permitted as long as they are managed by someone who is properly trained. To ensure your child’s safety and the effectiveness of the dog, consider the following features while making your selection.


 Hall, Sophie S., et al. “The long-term benefits of dog ownership in families with children with autism.” Journal of Veterinary Behavior 13 (2016): 46-54.

Gross, Patty Dobbs. The golden bridge: A Guide to assistance dogs for children challenged by Autism autism or other developmental disabilities. Purdue University Press, 2018. 20-50

Leung, J. Y. L., Mackenzie, L., & Dickson, C. (2022). Outcomes of assistance dog placement in the home for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families:  A  pilot study. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 69(1), 50-63.

Solomon, Olga. “What a dog can do: Children with autism and therapy dogs in social interaction.” Ethos 38.1 (2010): 143-166.

Grandin, Temple, et al. “The  roles  of  animals  for  individuals  with  autism  spectrum disorder.” Handbook on animal-assisted therapy. Academic Press, 2015. 225-236.


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A  research proposal is a document that describes how one will carry out a  research project.  It is a detailed outline of the entire research process.    For this assignment, students will write a research proposal concerning the effectiveness of service dogs for autism.

 Effectiveness of Using service dogs for Children with Autism

Effectiveness of Using service dogs for Children with Autism

For this assignment, your research proposal will include two parts.

  1. Overview of the Subject Matter

In this section, students should use the internet to write a short summary about autism.  Students should especially focus on the symptoms of autism.  Use the Internet to read about autism, the symptoms of autism,  and the use of service dogs for autism.  As you read about the symptoms of autism, begin to think about how you could operationalize these symptoms in the form of an index in a survey that is given to parents who have an autistic child.  Students should also write a brief summary on the topic of service dogs for autism.  What do these dogs do, and how do they help autistic children?

  1. Research Design

In this section, students will design an evaluative (experimental study) to assess the effectiveness of service dogs for autistic children.   Your research design should address the following:

  1. Explain in paragraph form how you will conduct this study.
  2. What is the dependent variable of this study, and how will it be measured?  What is the independent variable?
  3. Create an index that measures your dependent variable.
  4. Describe how you will sample.
  5. Describe your experimental and control groups.
  6. Describe the pre-test and post-test.
  7. Describe in detail how your research will be carried out.

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