Can a child with autism get a service dog?

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An Autism Assistance Dog can be trained to provide assistance with meltdowns by providing calming and comforting interactions on the parent's command.

For example, if the parent sees the child feeling overwhelmed, they can have the service dog perform deep pressure by laying across the child's lap.


An autism service dog is a service dog trained to assist an autistic person to help them gain independence and the ability to perform activities of daily living similar to anyone else.

For the most part, these dogs are trained to perform tasks similar to those of service dogs for other sensory processing disorders.


Best Breeds for Autistic Children

  • Labrador Retriever. Labs are some of the best pets for any child, including those with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Golden Retriever.
  • Poodle.
  • Old English Sheepdog.
  • Beagle.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Boxer.
  • Bull Terrier.

The primary focus of an autism service dog is to protect the safety of the children they work with.

Autism service dogs are sometimes trained to prevent children with autism from leaving the house unsupervised.

Autism service dogs can help open the door for children and keep them from becoming over-stimulated.


Here are our Picks of the Best Dog Breeds for Autism!

  • Best Small Dogs and Companion Dogs: The Adorable Maltese Poodle.
  • Best Apartment Dogs: Labradoodle.
  • Best Big Fluffy Dog Breeds: The Great Pyrenees.
  • Calm Dog Breeds: Golden Hair, Golden Heart: The Golden Retriever.
Service Dogs for Children with Autism act as constant companions to children with autism to help them improve social interactions and relationships, expand verbal and nonverbal communication, teach life skills, increase interest in activities and decrease stress within the family.
They are very calm and gentle dogs normally. These traits mean that these dogs are excellent guide dogs for the blind, seizure alert/medical response dogs, social signal (SSIG) dogs for those with autism, mobility assistance dogs, hearing dogs, or even therapy dogs for those in a hospital or nursing home.

Tasks for a Service Dog for a child with autism or other developmental disabilities can include Visit, Lap, Nudge, and Speak.

Public access – The team (parent/child/Service Dog) has public access according to the ADA.

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