I have recently been thinking about ways to help my son (ASD) in his daily life, and a friend of mine brought up the possibility of a service dog. It's honestly something I never thought about for his disability. He has social anxiety and difficulty managing situations like stores, crossing streets, etc and doesn't usually notice this that are dangerous as a threat (like smoke alarms or honking cars). In light of recent seizure activity, we are also on the road to having him diagnosed (possibly) with epilepsy. I worry so much about him wandering off, or seizing and me not noticing.. almost to the point that I don't really like going a lot of public places without my husband! I think it would help my overwhelming anxiety that we are going to lose him or he is going to seize, as well as help him in stressful situations. His seizures are typically absence seizures, so it is not always easy to tell at first.
I have just started reading about them, but would like input from other families who have service dogs (either with a child with ASD, or any other disabilities) and how it has helped your family, or how you came to the decision. We currently have a dog (ironically, a 5 year old boston terrier whom I've had since before DS, who has special needs) and we are financially able and willing to care for a dog and realize that it will be a responsibility of ours, not his. Also, what is the age of your child?
Thanks for your help!
Jesse, mama to my three wonderful boys, our newest born at home late Jan 2012
I admittedly have never looked into the topic of service dogs, but I am familiar with those that can detect a seizure approaching. However, I'm interested in what you said about anxiety and I'd love to hear what other things a service dog can help with when it comes to autistic kids.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
I have seen information here and there about service dogs and epilepsy. I think it is rare to find one that can sense a seizure before it occurs, but they may assist during or after the seizure. There is a young boy who wrote a book about how he is getting a service dog to earn money to buy his dog, which cost in the thousands. http://www.amazon.com/My-Seizure-Dog-Evan-Moss/dp/1463566719/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323224549&sr=8-1
Recently, I received emails through my work that some former military vets would be using service dogs. They are to help with mobility issues and post traumatic stress. The organization that provided the dogs is http://www.paws-effect.org/.