Friday, October 15, 2010

applying for an autism service dog.

Check out Max in his new winter coat from Grandma!
Over the past month, I've been working on filling out an application for an autism service dog from National Service Dogs.  The paperwork is quite extensive (as it should be considering the commitment you need to be willing to make should you be given a service dog).  As part of the application you need to fill out a 12 page form, have your doctor provide a medical history, include a personal reference letter, a picture of your child and directions to your home.  I've been beating myself up for taking so long to get this application submitted, but phew - that IS a lot of stuff to pull together so maybe I'll cut myself some slack!

The wait to get a dog, should your application be approved, is over three years.  For once I don't mind the wait as I think that Max will be better able to handle the responsibility of having a dog when he's a bit older.  A few of our friends who have children with Autism have also applied for dogs, so it will be interesting to see how everything works for them before we welcome a service dog into our home.

A service dog is very different than a family pet.  National Service Dogs has proven that a properly trained autism service dog can:
  • increase safety levels and alleviate the bolting behaviours
  • common in children with autism by acting as an anchor when tethered to the child
  • improve a child's socialization and behavior skills
  • create freedoms for the child and family members to go out of the house safely and confidently
  • expand a child's capabilities to experience more of life and to grow
  • calm children thereby giving them an increased attention span and a greater aptitude for learning
Max really likes animals - especially big dogs that are calm and allow him to sit and pet them.  I'm really hoping that our application is approved - this is one more thing we can do to help Max be happy and safe.  Wish us luck!


  1. Awesome...I have a feeling you will be approved with flying colours. Daniel is currently in therapeutic riding for sensory issues, and I think the animal/child bond is amazing. It calms him down and helps him focus.

  2. I think it goes without saying that I think this is awesome.