Dog therapy and how its helps people with autism

16 Aug 2022

Magic life welcomes Milo the old English sheepdog and Gaston who is a very large St. Bernard to our assisted/supported living homes and found the benefits they bring to service users with Autism were amazing. They have been doing the tours at our home at Park Side, Park Lodge, 672 High Road, and Northlands in Potters bar which support people with Autism and learning disabilities.

Which dogs are best for people with Autism

The following website has researched this and gives an outline for finding out which dog is best suited for you and your family’s needs K9 of Mine gives

Here are 10 ways Dogs for Good makes a difference to people with autism

  1. Road Safety we’re helping children and adults with autism by using animal-assisted intervention to improve road-safety awareness and keep them safer when they go out.
  1. Playing games. A simple game of Pairs or hide and seek can be a great way for a child with autism to learn about taking turns and sharing – a dog never cares who wins!
  1. A new best friend. Before autism assistance dog Sox arrived, 11-year-old Toby said he wanted to end his life. He says Sox made him feel better: “it’s as if our hearts are connected by a thread.’
  1. Reducing family stress. The University of Lincoln surveyed 100 families who had attended Dogs for Good’s Autism Family Dog workshops.  They found the introduction of a pet dog significantly reduced parental stress.
  1. Overcoming fear. The constant presence of a specially trained dog offers a calming focus for a person with autism.  Dogs for Good have helped children and adults with trips to the dentist, overcoming anxieties about vaccinations, and starting school.
  1. New opportunities. Life with a child with autism can be dominated by routines and narrow interests but the arrival of a dog can help persuade a child to try something new.  Autism Instructor Kelly says: “one partnership started agility training – they want to give something back to their dog but the great thing is both got real benefits.”
  1. Sensory support. The reassuring pressure of a dog’s head resting in a child’s lap helps to bring a feeling of calm in a moment of high anxiety and gives great support to a child with sensory needs.
  1. Better days out.  Mum Emma was amazed when her son Thomas asked if they could go out for lunch. “When Briggs, Thomas’ autism assistance dog is by his side it’s like they’re in a protective bubble, Thomas is happy to do things so we all get to do more as a family.
  1. More than words. Mark is an adult with autism who regularly benefits from animal-assisted therapy sessions with the Dogs for Good team. His support worker commented: “After the sessions, Mark is chattier; we even see his sense of humor come out after he’s worked with a dog.
  1. Building friendships.  When human friendships and relationships prove difficult, nothing beats the enthusiastic wag of the tail from a friend that never judges.

More information on how dogs can help can be found at Dogs For Good

It’s not only dogs.

Research has found that it’s not just dogs that help people. Cats are also very helpful too. It doesn’t end there, we found that even chickens help people with Autism. Back in 2018, we introduce chicken to Devonshire Lodge which really worked with people with Autism. Read the article here. Devonshire Lodge assisted living home helps support people with learning disabilities and Autism and has also found that horse riding is a great activity too. Watch the video

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