The goal of our Autism Assistance
trained dogs is to provide friendship, companionship, unconventional, and unconditional love for
the child in need. A source of comfort and consistency when environments change and anxiety might be high.
It is also our hope to provide a dog that will be the child’s best friend and buddy,
so that the child will relate to the dog on a higher social level than they ever experienced before, and transfer these accomplishments
to the humans which also live within their home and/or the school environment.
With the number of children
currently being diagnosed with disabilities falling in the Autism spectrum, at an increasingly higher frequency and at much
younger ages that ever before; the need for these specially trained dogs is on the rise. Autism often presents more unique
challenges than other more prevalent disabilities.
The child with Autism does
not connect well with their environment. Autism manifests itself most strikingly as impairments in communication and in the
formation of social relationships.
Children with Autism are
often nonverbal or when they are verbal they usually do not use the skill to actively communicate with other people in their
environment. Many children with this disability have a strong need for a structured, routine environment; change creates feelings
or fear and/or anxiety. Some children even exhibit serious behavioral changes including, at times, self-injury.
While the needs of each child are unique, all of the families, schools,
or agencies contacting us have one very important common need; they report that the child has few, if any, friends. Other
children don’t understand their behaviors and even higher functioning children, often diagnosed with Asperger’s
Syndrome, are not able to form the social relationships needed to sustain friendships, even at the elementary school level.
Asperger’s is exceptionally difficult for parents, who watch as the disability interferes in their child’s life.
Research indicates that the child with Autism displays behaviors toward a trained
dog that they rarely,
if ever, display towards human companions.
In addition, the child that is partnered with a dog is found to seek that dog out
for companionship, comfort, and confiding in ways never shown to others. In spite of a strong dislike
by many children with Autism to being touched and/or hugged there appears to be an evident enjoyment of tactile stimulation
and comfort level with a dog.
An Autism Assistance Dog (social signal trained) reinforces
a child with Autism to demonstrate behaviors toward a dog that they do not display to people, even family members, and which
are similar to those associated with close relationships.
The child with Autism, and all the difficulties
they have with verbalization, communication, and social relationships, paired with a well trained social signal Autism Assistance
dog specifically trained to meet their unique needs; assists in creating consistency, stability, and calm reassurance
that the feelings of anxiety or fear are not needed because they have a trusted buddy.
As they meet their dog partner teams and
develop the bond that we have been speaking of; an unconditional, unconventional, and a miraculous loving friendship is developed
and with each visit, grows stronger, bringing along with it, a chance that the child may transfer their new social relationship
to the humans in their environment as well.
Canine Care Working Dog Association instructors and programs are
certified through the North American Temperament Test Association, Association of Canine Behavior Consultants, and CCAD
Assistance Dogs. Knowledge of assistance dog training and handling skills together with teaching skills effective with youth
is of utmost importance in our Social Signal Dog Programs. Measurable competency in these areas is required, initially demonstrated
by successful completion of the Canine Behavioral Level 1 Course, Cynology, Temperament assessment workshops, canine behavioral
studies through the Qualification Council
of Canine Trainers, and the CCAD Assistance Therapy Dog training & evaluation courses, which are required for certification
of all therapuetic programs. ALL
canine assistance teams, and program directors, are reviewed while interning under State Social Service Workers, educators,
and, or Special Education counselors.
OUR MOTTO : " Our Best Friends Have Hairy Legs "
|Have a Joy Filled Summer Season!
*A Canine Care Assistance Program.© LWL's All Rights Reserved. 2006. All material, photo's,artwork, articles, and content of this web site, and it's pages,
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"And God is able to make all grace abound
to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8