Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Service Dog Helps Boy with Autism

This article tells about a trained service dog who has helped a 7 year old boy with Asperger's. The dogs are specifically trained for a child's needs. The family needed to raise $5000 and go to Ohio to get the dog.

"It's really amazing. If Aaron is having a meltdown, Georgia is trained to chill him out. She climbs on top of him so he can pet her."
Georgia is more than a pal. She helps Aaron break repetitive behaviors or patterns by bumping him or distracting him with her paw.
Georgia follows Aaron wherever he goes, and she knows she's "working" whenever she is wearing her vest.
"Georgia helps Aaron learn social behaviors," Sara said. "She gives him a way to interact with his peers. Kids can come up to him and say, 'Can I pet your dog?' or, 'What's your dog's name?'"
While Aaron isn't able to bring Georgia to school with him because he is young enough that he requires a second handler when he is with the dog, Georgia goes everywhere else.
"She's phenomenal," Sara said. "She's done wonders for him in the short time we've had her. He seems to want to interact more with people."
And Aaron loves Georgia, whom he calls his new best friend.
"She's my friend but I would like a people friend," Aaron said.
Aaron said having a buddy like Georgia is a great boost.
"She's the best dog ever," Aaron said. "I just think the people in Ohio trained her well. She's perfect. It's awesome."

The organization is called 4 Paws for Ability.

No comments: