Questionable need for Service Dog for 5 yr old "Autistic" - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
Knighted Member
 
Gretchen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: California's Central Coast
Posts: 3,325
Questionable need for Service Dog for 5 yr old "Autistic"

There is a family who bought their dog from the same breeder I did that has their dog designated to be a "service dog" (wears the blue vest) for their 5 year old "autistic" son. My words in italics have questionable definitions for me. I thought a service dog was supposed to perform a specific task, I see this dog as an average trained dog which had aggression issues in the past. The 5 year old boy does not appear (during training sessions) to have the qualities I've seen if a few other autistic children, but I could be wrong. He seems to show and acknowledge a variety of emotions and facial expressions, interacts well with other young children, generally seems normal with a high energy level.

I guess I am ranting because I hate to see people abuse things, then what happens is that the legitimate persons end up suffering due to stricter rules and regulations. Maybe this boy has issues at home I have not seen, still I don't understand how this dog could be designated as a service dog without specific training, are there people who do certification when someone self trains their service dog?

Video of boy and dog with trainer - mostly boy hiding and dog searching

Service Dog - YouTube
Gretchen is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 08:53 PM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 30,172
Autism has a very wide spectrum from high functioning to not functioning. Why don't you walk right over and ask if the boy is autistic? I imagine you might get told to mind your own business. Who are you to diagnose this child?
Jax08 is offline  
post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:11 PM
Crowned Member
 
selzer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denmark, Ohio
Posts: 31,712
I am with Jax. No one wants a label of autism on their kid. ADD maybe, that is a good excuse for poor behavior. Autism is a really negative label on a kid. It is possible that he interacts better because of the dog. Possible. You can train your own service dog, and they do not have to be certified. I think in order to get the dog to school with the boy they will have to jump some serious hoops. I mean if the boy is seriously autistic, then how can you be sure that he can manage the dog, and if he is not, why does he need the dog. There are always hurt feelings and uproar when a school system denies a child from bringing a service dog with them, but I think that the school systems have to do what is best with all the children in mind. A dog with aggression issues would not be a good candidate for going to elementary school with a child-handler.

ETA: my cousin who is about a year or two younger than me was diagnosed with autism when he was about two. He was in special schools and often lived away from home in one school or another. He is currently living in a home for retarded men because he is violent. Autism is nothing you want your kid to have. It is a terrible affliction, disease whatever.

Odie, Joy-Joy
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.

Last edited by selzer; 09-14-2011 at 09:13 PM.
selzer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:15 PM
Master Member
 
AddieGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Autism has a very wide spectrum from high functioning to not functioning. Why don't you walk right over and ask if the boy is autistic? I imagine you might get told to mind your own business. Who are you to diagnose this child?


+ 1000000

I worked as a caregiver for 2 boys with autism. They were brothers both under 10 years old. One was "obviously" autistic exhibiting "classic" autistic behaviors. The other was high functioning, and if you only observed him casually for a short period of time you might assume that he was a typically developing child, perhaps with a touch of ADHD. However, they both had their own individual needs, and I can see how each of them could have benefitted from a service dog. My advice is to MYOB and be thankful that you and/or your children don't have to live with Autism (a condition that NO parent would wish to "fake").
AddieGirl is offline  
post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:28 PM
Crowned Member
 
AbbyK9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Country, NY
Posts: 12,442
A dog is only then a Service Dog if the following requirements are met -

(1) The person the dog works for must be LEGALLY disabled, not just medically disabled. Legally disabled means that they meet the ADA's definition of a disability. The ADA describes a disability as something that SIGNIFICANTLY impairs ONE or MORE major life activities.

(2) The dog must be INDIVIDUALLY TRAINED specific TASKS (three tasks are generally cited as the barebones required minimum). These tasks must be demonstrable (able to be performed on command) and specifically mitigate the person's disability.

So ... what this boils down to is this:

(1) Is the child considered legally disabled under the ADA?
(2) Is the dog trained specific tasks relevant to the disability?

If so, then the dog is legally considered to be a Service Dog. Ideally, the dog should have a great deal of public access training so that he will behave appropriately in public places where Service Dogs are allowed with their handlers - the dog should also be fine around other people and other dogs, that goes without saying.

There are no certifying agencies for owner/handler trained dogs.

However, ADI (Assistance Dogs International) makes their public access test available online at Public Access Test - Assistance Dogs International with the caveat that the test should be administered by a professional assistance dog trainer.

As ADI does not train or provide dogs itself, but rather provides a directory of assistance dog trainers (under Member Programs List & Links), it stands to reason that one could get in contact with a local ADI-accredited trainer and see about taking the ADI public access test under such a trainer's supervision.

One pet peeve ... if a dog has to wear a prong collar in order to be controlled by the handler, then the dog does not have the necessary BASIC obedience needed to set the foundation for Service Dog work. My humble opinion.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AbbyK9 is offline  
post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:29 PM
Crowned Member
 
AbbyK9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Country, NY
Posts: 12,442
Do I think this child is autistic? I don't know.

Do I think a dog that isn't trained specific tasks to help with a disability is a Service Dog? Heck no. Not under the definition of the term. Maybe an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) but they do not have the same rights as Service Dogs. Whole different category.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AbbyK9 is offline  
post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:34 PM
Crowned Member
 
selzer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denmark, Ohio
Posts: 31,712
Are cardiac alert dogs and siezure alert dogs considered service dogs? If they are what is the demonstratable task that they must be able to perform on command?

Odie, Joy-Joy
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.
selzer is offline  
post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:47 PM
Moderator
 
ILGHAUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
Posts: 9,026
From Service Dog Central: (Bolding Mine)

There is a mistaken belief that people with Autism have issues feeling emotions. Autism was once considered a type of mental illness, but it is now recognized as a sensory processing disorder. People with Autism Spectrum Disorders may experience difficulty recognizing and processing subtle social cues in facial expression, body language, inflection, and intonation which results in confusion in learning how to recognize and exhibit expressions of emotions, but not the feelings of those emotions.

Other sensory processing disorders include blindness (vision processing) and deafness (auditory processing). Service dogs can be trained for some people with Autism to help them gain independence, confidence, and the ability to perform activities of daily living that they could not otherwise perform. For the most part these dogs are trained to perform tasks similar to those of service dogs for other sensory processing disabilities. A guide dog for a person who is blind signals the handler when the team approaches an intersection so that the handler knows to stop and check for traffic. An Autism dog might be trained to do the exact same task, except that instead of giving visual information ("I see an intersection"), the dog gives prioritizing information ("I recognize a situation that requires focused processing").

An Autism service dog might signal the handler of important sounds, like that of a smoke alarm. When a person is trying to process 20 different things, including the sounds of crickets, a smoke alarm, the smell of the fabric softener on the sheets, the feel of the fabric on his or her skin, and so on, it may take that person a while to get down the list to the really important information: the smoke alarm. Those without processing impairments automatically recognize the urgency of the smoke alarm, but many with Autism cannot do so without careful consideration. They certainly know what it means and that it is urgent, but they must think it through step-by-step to arrive at the conclusion that a speedy exit is required. As with a person who is deaf, a trained service dog can signal the person with Autism of an important event, such as a smoke alarm, the phone ringing, someone at the door, the alarm clock, the kitchen timer, the baby crying, etc. The dog's signal to the handler reminds the handler to drop all other processing and focus on the sound being indicated by the dog.

To read this article in full go to Autism Service Dogs | Service Dog Central

I have permission from the owner of Service Dog Central to copy as much of the articles from the site as I wish for educational purposes. I believe the above is some of the best info that I have read on the topic and am grateful that I am allowed to share. For others wishing to quote any sections of this material please remember to follow the rules of copyright law. Violators will be prosecuted in order to protect the intellectual property of SDC.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project (ADAP),
Humane Animal Education & Services (HAES),
ILGHAUS is offline  
post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:48 PM
Crowned Member
 
Samba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 6,601
Someone else can answer this better than me.

I do know of several owner trained service dogs. They do not have outside certification.
Samba is offline  
post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 09:51 PM
Moderator
 
ILGHAUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
Posts: 9,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Are cardiac alert dogs and siezure alert dogs considered service dogs? If they are what is the demonstratable task that they must be able to perform on command?
Most people in the service dog community do not break down the *type* of dog into such small subsections. The above dogs are not service dogs because of their natural alerting skills but because of the trained response tasks that they do after an alert.

These tasks must be able to be demonstrated on command and they must be necessary tasks trained based on the needs of the handler to mitigate their legal disability.

The alert & response SDs that I know also have other tasks besides those of how they respond after an alert. Such as someone who has major cardiac problems - most are unable to bend over to retrieve a dropped item and many if not most have problems with their mobility.

Remember, a medical condition or medical disability does not always equal a legal disability under the ADA/Dept. of Justice which is needed as part of the equation of a dog being lawfully a SD.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project (ADAP),
Humane Animal Education & Services (HAES),

Last edited by ILGHAUS; 09-14-2011 at 10:01 PM.
ILGHAUS is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome