17 August 2013

Dog Facts for Kids: Service Dogs Sense Anxiety, Take Action

Dog Facts for Kids: Service Dogs Sense Anxiety Andrew, age 8, Describes an Autism Service Dogs of America Camp, He Attended during which he took a Dog ...

I'm here with Andrew and he just

finished up a camp with a autism service dogs of America and he wanted to tell you about his experience hi Andrew so you were there you were at a camp for a week and you worked with dogs pretty much all day long can you tell me what you did all day like what did you do in the first day when you were just getting to know the dogs to Safari Samms uh-huh what kind of game did you play with them the dog oh really yeah and with the dogs so well-trained that they did what you told him to do yeah and then what did you do in the other days that was fun I went to a fountain a lake a bull the Q with the dark and bowling you went bowling with a dog yeah you went to a barbecue a fountain in a lake yeah the law is that they can go anywhere but certain times and places in the hospital if their service dogs yeah and well well when you were with the dogs how did you feel did it make you feel different in some way kind of hard question the dog like a name one didn't name Jersey there's one dog you didn't like is that what you're saying oh there was one that you really liked in would you like to have a

service dog for yourself and a therapy dog is it's kind of like a chef's dog let's do knows how they're doing tricks and everything but it's mainly just becomes a okay oh it's more of a pat yeah and you can still take it anywhere with you the p-dogs no so what do you think you learned from your weekend camp you don't know what you learned about service dogs and and being with them yeah I think it's really interesting that you went to a movie and you went bowling and what you went shopping with these dogs and how many kids were in your camp quite a bit like 24 new like 14 dogs did they all want to have dogs when they were done like therapy dogs when they were done with the camp oh really don't quite make it oh I didn't know that they're the ones that don't quite make it yeah how would you define a service dog or a therapy dog III think of them as being helper dogs I am so can you say what the very best thing that happened in your camp because I know you really love the camp what kind of done what kind of dog was that the one that you really like we looked a little bit like Hudson that's a

golden retriever I think he's a white cream he's over there doing something it's not supposed to be doing so you liked being with that dog how did you feel when you were with that dog happy that's nice well um Andrew thank you so much for joining us and telling us about your camp this is Michelle Andrews mom and she's gonna tell us a little bit about the camp that Andrew went to hi Michelle so you were saying that most the kids who went to the camp were not autistic but they were learning about these dogs and autistic kids about 3/4 of the kids at the camp for what we call neurotypical meaning that they don't have autism the other quarter were kids with autism and so part of the camp was about sort of bridging the gap between the typically developing kids and the autistic kids so the autistic the autistic kids were kind of the stars of the show and in a sense aha the typical kids learned about you know some of the difficulties that kids have autism faced and learned how the dogs can be of assistance to kids with autism so one of the dogs do for the kids um the dogs are certified service

animals so they're placed with the child with autism and they do different things depending on the nature of the child's difficulties with their autism for a child with severe autism who might have meltdowns in public or might be a flight risk and run away often the dog will be tethered to the child and then the handler usually a parent will hold the leash and the dog actually helps prevent the child from the loping other kids don't necessarily need to be tethered but the dogs are there to help them feel safe and secure in situation that might be dangerous or anxiety provoking for them for kids like my son who have higher functioning autism the dogs can really help alleviate anxiety they're also trained to start sensing an anxiety attack coming on and they're trained to give varying levels of pressure to the child to hopefully avoid a full-blown autistic meltdown that's so interesting by pressure what do you mean um they'll first take a paw and put it on the child it hopefully is a reminder and a reassurance to the child that they're safe and can feel secure and then they'll do increasing levels if the

child still seems upset they'll you know maybe put their front paws on the child and put a lot of weight on the child and if the child is about to have a on meltdown like perhaps you know being violent or about to run or getting destructive they'll actually just pounce on the child and you know help keep the child safe and the dog can sense all that yeah they can sense it really before the child can and often before you know an adult carry caregiver can well that's fascinating thanks so much for joining us sir