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Second Page: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome
Posted on Saturday, May 20 @ 12:51:27 EDT by
Asperger's in the News CBS News Reports 'Eleven-year-old Parker Weishaar is just about the most well-behaved kid you'll ever meet — now. Parker has a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports that one of the symptoms can be meltdowns." His parents, Wendy and Mark, "couldn't deal with it. We would have incidences in the classroom where he would kind of clear off the bookshelves."

What worked for them was Candy. Not the sweet stuff — a dog … named Candy. She's a certified assistance dog whose job basically is to be with Parker; to stick right by his side, 24/7.'



"She helps me, she calms me down, she lets me know she's there when I'm about to have a meltdown," Parker says.

Wendy and Mark got the dog about a year ago, and Parker hasn't had an outburst since.

But that's just half the story. Kids with autism have a lot of other issues, too — and for those, there's this: dog agility. Parker says it was "really, extremely tough" to learn at first.

Although it's generally the domain of middle-aged women, Parker's mom says the sport is also "great" autism therapy.

"You're doing speech therapy, you've got to get commands out … while you're running … and you've got to keep your body in control when you don't have good motor movement," says Wendy.

Part of dog agility is learning how to handle disappointment — especially with this dog. She had yet to actually finish a course. But Parker didn't seem to mind.

"Anybody who has autism, anybody in the world would just benefit from this," Parker says. "She's just like a healing dog."

Healing for Parker. The idea is still new and unproven, but for one boy, on one day, there was never any doubt his dog had some kind of magic.

During her last race, something got into Candy. The dog that had never finished the course before did every "through" and made every "over." It was an absolutely flawless performance.

Candy not only finished for the first time — she actually finished first, earning a kiss from Parker. That's the kind of autistic outburst he and his family can live with.


               


 
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Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome


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Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by aspiegirl2 Sunday, May 28 @ 23:40:07 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://1000whatifs.blogspot.com
That sounds like an excellent idea. Some kids just settle down when there's a dog near them and wanting to be pet. I think it would build a little more self-control when anger starts to pressurize (and eventually burst) and thoughts for the other people's feelings around you when you have a meltdown.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by TheGreyBadger Saturday, May 20 @ 17:43:53 EDT
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Has anyone heard of the Liberty Dog program? It is funded entirely by donations but has convicts training service dogs for people with all sorts of needs. Everyone benefits (except the "tough of crime" politicians) - including the convicts. I first read about it in Paul Collins' memoir Not Even Wrong". My blind friend tells me the program is still ticking right along.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Shadowgirl Monday, May 22 @ 10:07:21 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://buttkickingphantom.sheezyart.com/
I'm on the waiting list for one.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Shadowgirl Monday, May 22 @ 10:11:51 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://buttkickingphantom.sheezyart.com/
For info go on www.northstardogs.com the lady who's helping me Patty Gross is really nice.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Lonermutant Tuesday, May 23 @ 11:52:00 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://home.online.no/~ojmalm/
The perfect service dog for Aspie kids would be a huge one that just could jump on top of bullies and sit on them for several minutes.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by SolaCatella Wednesday, June 07 @ 21:45:52 EDT
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I'd absolutely love a dog like this. I always feel so much more relaxed when I'm working with my terrier mix.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by aspieparent Friday, June 09 @ 05:20:45 EDT
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Where can I get a service dog for my son? please E-mail me at carrie3kids2001@yahoo.com



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by atlasta Thursday, July 20 @ 13:23:28 EDT
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Hey, this sounds great. Having a dog as companion and helper is a great coping tool. My caveat is that this can also turn into a crutch, keeping this child from interacting with peers and adults. A dog can be a good companion but it cannot interact on the same level as humans.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Wrackspurt Sunday, August 19 @ 06:45:26 EDT
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I feel compelled to reply to this article as what it implies is simply not legal & won't stand up in court. I have AS, I've only recently been diagnosed with AS (a month ago) I've been accompanied by a service dog for other disabilities for over 6 years. Read the facts in links below & learn just how misguiding this article is. * http://servicedogcentral.org/content/node/79 (Autism Service Dogs) * http://www.iaadp.org/lassie.html (SD's for Autism) * The ADA defines a “disabled” person as an individual who has: (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual. * The ADA defines a service animal as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” (comforting meltdowns & participating in agility are not legal tasks - that is pet status) Please be aware of service animal organizations who claim to train dogs for Autism. Most won't stand up in court. That could be costly to find out too late as some service dogs organizations let them go for around $5000.00 each. Dogs must be trained to performs tasks that mitigate the disability of it's handler: example: guiding, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped objects, retrieving medications, opening doors and drawers and flipping switches for lights or automatic doors. The disabled handler must require such tasks, a dog simply trained for them doesn't count if the handler does not require such assistance.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Twinklee Thursday, October 04 @ 18:20:41 EDT
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Please read my comment to Wrackspurt, the previous poster has given inaccurate and misleading information.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Shidash Sunday, June 01 @ 18:53:09 EDT
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Service dogs for young children, no matter the disability, are unsafe. I don't care if the parent is around. They dogs are being used as baby sitters and that is not fair for the dog or the child. Would you trust a three year old to take care of an autistic child? That is the level of a dog's intelligence. I fully support service dogs for adults and teens that are high functioning enough to handle them on their own.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Josher Friday, March 28 @ 10:17:23 EDT
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wow, i do not need one though.



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by Kittykat123 Monday, May 17 @ 20:06:46 EDT
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Does anyone know where I can get a service dog in New Zealand?, I have Asperger Syndrome and love animals heaps, they help calm me down. If you know where I can get a service dog in New Zealand please email me at amyrosewinks@hotmail.com



Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by teon00 Wednesday, March 14 @ 12:16:03 EDT
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Re: Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome (Score: 1)
by starkid Saturday, March 31 @ 21:57:08 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://improperlyhuman.dreamwidth.org/
This is nothing but more animal exploitation. Animals have their own lives to lives to live, their own wants. They do not exist to serve humans at all, and humans have no moral right to use them. Does Parker, his family, or the trainer(s) ever think about what the dog wants to do? Maybe she's not terribly interested in any damn races and would rather be living out in the woods chasing squirrels all day.


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