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Dogs for the Deaf announces dogs for children with autism

Posted Apr 06 2009 11:12pm

Black Labrador.jpg
Yesterday (April 2nd), was International Autism Awareness Day, and April is International Autism Awareness Month.

Dogs for the Deaf, the oldest and largest Hearing Dog program in the U.S., has expanded its program to include Autism Assistance Dogs for children with Autism.

With the incredible rise in the rates of Autism, Dogs for the Deaf wants to help meet the need for providing specially trained dogs to help children with Autism and their families. The specialised training these dogs receive will greatly enhance the child’s safety and provide for improved family relationships and dynamics.

Children with autism frequently bolt and run, sometimes ending up in unsafe situations such as streets, lakes, rivers, etc. Autism Assistance Dogs wear a special harness, and the child is tethered to the dog’s harness. This gives the child some freedom of movement and enables the parent to actually let go of the child’s hand or arm. Studies also find that these dogs enhance the eye contact and bonding abilities of the children.

Ginger, a Black Labrador, is the first Autism Assistance Dog completing training at Dogs for the Deaf.

For more information, check out the Dogs for the Deaf’s website.

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