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Autism Service Dogs: True Service Dogs or Merely Comfort Animals?

Animals  (tags: animals, AnimalWelfare, autism, service dogs, protection, pets )

- 3169 days ago -
Recently, autism service dogs have joined the ranks of such animals as seeing-eye dogs for the blind, service dogs for those with seizure disorders, hearing dogs for the deaf, and others. The argument comes in defining service dog. Some school districts

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Gillian M (218)
Saturday August 22, 2009, 1:26 pm
I am pleased to see that people are beginning to appreciate what animals can do to help people. Service dogs do need a proper definition and this would be of help for schools to understand what they can do and allow them in where appropriate.

The problems that I can forsee are the parents! If a child was genuinely frightened of a dog the parents would make a fuss and many other parents would join in for the same reason, my child being more important! Bear in mind that the parents would not want to deal with the distress caused if their child was frightened (& is it fair to ask them to?). Also, there will be envy and screaming as to why my dog can't come with me if Joe's can?

Not knowing how the US education system works, would such a severly autistic child be in mainstream school or a special needs school? Would that be fair to other special needs children?

I think that a proper definition and review by educationists should come down on the side of the dog.

No Way (0)
Saturday August 22, 2009, 7:54 pm
Service dogs, for all types of needs, should be allowed in all public areas, with children and adults, including schools, libraries, or retail stores.

This is a big world, and tolerance is key, as all these illnesses and ailments aren't going anywhere soon! We all better get used to the needs of others, and pray we don't need something 'special' ourselves one day, and can't have it becaose of someone elses discomfort or jealousy.

Annie B (1)
Saturday August 22, 2009, 8:49 pm
Service dogs are not defined by the school system or the parents. To be a service animal, the dog must be individually trained to assist a disabled person. It should actually perform some assistance tasks for the person it supports. The person should have a prescription from a licensed physician for the service dog. In a perfect world it would have graduated from a known service dog school like Canine Companions for Independence or another facility which belongs to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners or Assistance Dogs International. But not everyone can afford one of those. But the dog should be able to pass the IAADP Public Access Test with ease. Online Service Dog certifications are ALL bogus. Don't waste your money and do damage to those who are truly disabled and need a service dog. There are psychiatric service animals and their temperament must be rock-solid when in a facility or school so they must be well trained.

MmAway M (505)
Saturday August 22, 2009, 9:16 pm
Thanks...everything else has been said...


Shirley S (187)
Sunday August 23, 2009, 12:24 am
It's great that these dogs can help & keep the children calm. GOOD DOGS

mary f (202)
Sunday August 23, 2009, 6:40 am
autism service dogs are amazing i work with one some days .they can't be praised enough for their contribution

Alisha D (10)
Sunday August 23, 2009, 9:33 am
My live in Boyfriend is high functioning Autistic although he does not require one of these dogs we praise the parents and families that provides this much needed service to the people who needs it most. Autistic people needs not only help but the security and comfort and there is nothing wrong with that most of these teachers has never lived with an Autistic person even though they work with them they still do not know what it is like, the emotions the day to day intimate life they have to live these teachers only just skim the surface to know what being Autistic is all about.
To the teachers allow these service do there jobs and you do yours not dictating to know what it really is like when most of you do not
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