"Puzzle" helps child with autism - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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"Puzzle" helps child with autism

"Puzzle" Is Aiden's Furry Miracle

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Parents who have kids with autism will tell you they're always looking for that therapy or treatment that's the right fit for their child. Sometimes what they find even surprises them.


Three-year-old Aiden Price is a pre-schooler in Duplin County working through autism. His parents discovered one way to help their son learn and progress was with the help of a service dog.


"Puzzle" is a golden doodle and accompanies Aiden everywhere, including at school.


While no one can put their finger on exactly what the dog does -- they see a result.
There's an article and a video for this story, and I find both of them to be quite confusing since neither mentions any of the tasks the dog does, although the video shows the child tethered to the dog at one point.

What really got me was the quote that "no-one can put their finger on exactly what the dog does." I hope that's the ignorance of the reporter and not actually an indicator that the dog is just there (like a Therapy Dog would be), instead of a Service Dog.

I think news reports like this are detrimental to people with Service Dogs because they give the impression that a dog just needs to be "there" to be considered a Service Dog, not that they need to be extensively trained to do specific things. I think it gives a wrong image of the countless hours of training Service Dogs need to go through.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 07:24 AM
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I hope that the dog is actually trained for tasks and that the dog has worked out non-specific ways to help beyond those tasks.

There is a problem with people understanding the real nature of service dogs and many well-intentioned news stories overlook the facts, both good and bad, about the stories.

I quickly looked at the kennel that supplied and it looks like the dog could be well trained. It is sad that reporters do not research subjects enough to know when a quote that sounds like good fluff to make a story heartwarming will actually hurt a good cause that is really helping people.

I would like to be as good as my dogs think I am.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 07:30 AM
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The actual physical contact and perhaps the touch are partially what helps but that does not fit into a 30 second piece. This is why people make bad decisions that they believe are informed because theyread it in the paper,saw it in the news,
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 08:54 AM
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While no one can put their finger on exactly what the dog does -- they see a result.
could have been much more informative if they said "...what the dog does beyond his training..." A service dog's training is long and difficult but it is essential. Too many people think it is as easy as getting a puppy from a BYB.

I would like to be as good as my dogs think I am.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 04:35 PM
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I don't like these kinds of articles...

Especially because I don't like SDs for children. There is just no need. A SD is for independence, a child doesn't need independence! A pet is great, but I see no need for a child to be accompanied by their dog 24/7. I think it makes matters worse because then the parent who is already in charge of a special needs child, has to add in being in charge of a dog. And its not easy. Maybe I'm just too highstrung, but I put a lot of effort and hypervigillance into being in public with my SD. I can't imagine combining that with being responsible for an autistic child.

And yes, I always cringe at articles like that where it makes it seem as if the dog being a dog is the only task, no training required. I think it contributes to the current problem of knowing fakers and those who just don't know any better.


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 04:53 PM
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I kinda know what they mean by can not put their finger on it. My son is on the autism spectrum, and since I rescued my kitty in July, I can't tell you how much better socially my son is. He is borderline Autistic (ie: he scored the bare minimum for autism on all his evals and tests.) so he does not have melt downs or things like that, but he was very unsocial especially to his peers. since we had Tamtam my son has made a complete 180 change. he has become more talkative (he is a late talker), more social and stopped running away. I can't really say if it's just a coincidence but he had sensory issues and hated cats and dogs touching him before, now he's all hugs and kisses to our cat and our friends dog.

But they don't necessarily need to be a service dog to help a child with autism, unless the child requires a specific task. I know there are SDs trained to prevent a child from running away or emotional support to help with tantrums, etc

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 05:04 PM
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I'm on the autism spectrum. But the problem is that "not putting your finger on it" cannot count as a task. Service dogs MUST be taught specific tasks that mitigate the disability, thats what makes them service dogs. Emotional support is not a task. Animals can be great for those with psychiatric disabilities. But that doesn't mean they should be accompanying the child everywhere.

Personally I believe a dog being used as a tether to prevent the child from running away is flat out animal abuse. The child probably outweighs the dog by the time they're 10 years old. And even if the dog outweighs the child, I still think being tethered (especially if by the collar) to a child trying to get away is abusive. Along with trying to use a dog to console a child who is having a meltdown. In the definition of meltdowns, typically its said that the child is not in control of themselves and may be a danger to themselves. Who on earth decided it was a good idea to add an animal to that?! I really don't care if the animal can stop the meltdown, because they should be nowhere near the child until after the meltdown if they are in any danger.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin View Post
I don't like these kinds of articles...

Especially because I don't like SDs for children. There is just no need. A SD is for independence, a child doesn't need independence! A pet is great, but I see no need for a child to be accompanied by their dog 24/7.
What about something like a hearing dog, guide dog or a seizure alert dog?


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagocanine View Post
What about something like a hearing dog, guide dog or a seizure alert dog?
Still nope. A child does not need independence, SDs are to provide independence. Children are fully capable of using their parents as a service human. In fact when children are given service dogs, its actually the parent that is the handler and goes through training to use the dog. So now the parent not only has a disabled child to be responsible for, but a disabled child AND a service dog.

Medical advancements combined with a dogs untrained ability do blur the line a bit, for example the seizure dog that carries a magnet in her collar that is used to stimulate the boys vagus nerve implant to stop or shorten a seizure. However, seizure dogs are seizure RESPONSE dogs as an alert can not be trained. So in most cases, the dog is not going to be able to stimulate the implant any faster than an adult who could hold the magnet. The case I speak of is a very rare instance. And I'm still not entirely sure where I stand on it, media can be funny so I would need to know more and know all the facts were true.

I also do not believe that schools should be responsible for hiring someone to care for a student's service dog at school. And too many self entitled parents (who GET the service dog because of this self entitlement, because again the dog is not for the child's independence but to do tasks the parent would otherwise do) believe schools should be responsible and funding this. I believe schools should have funded employees to deal with disabilities, but not to be trained to care for a child's service dog. Again, this is just adding an unnecessary middle man. Cut out the dog and have the students aid provide the needed tasks.

Dogs can do wonderful things and a service human can not duplicate the emotional support of a dog. But emotional support is not a service task, and is not justification for accompanying anyone 24/7.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 03:24 AM
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Dogs can do wonderful things and a service human can not duplicate the emotional support of a dog. But emotional support is not a service task, and is not justification for accompanying anyone 24/7.
Now where's the like button?? I couldn't agree more with the above statement.
this thread has really changed my POV on service dogs, specially since i only read or see them on tv. we don't have service dogs at all in Egypt and my only source was basically google and movies LOL. after reading this thread and Lin's posts, I have to say her words make perfect sense to me.

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