Over the next few weeks we are going to introduce you to some people who are autistic, have an autistic child, family member and their dogs. Not all the dogs are going to be assistance dogs. Some are just very loved family members and pets.
Dogs work in mysterious ways, I think it’s the joy, unconditional deep love and compassion they share as they bring comfort as therapy dogs, assistance dogs, companions, and as part of our families. That is my perception. I think everyone will have their own understanding of what their dogs mean to them.
There will be two directions of what is coming. The family dog who lives with autism in their family. The joy that dog brings. The connection they have, the smiles, love and acceptance without any judgement. A four legged friend who listens. The unconditional love that is present.
The assistance dog who is being specifically trained to assist an autistic person.
Seeing first-hand accounts of how they all get on, how much the dog brings to a family, how someone made the decision to get and train an assistance dog, how complicated it can be, heart-warming, frustrating and the magic that emerges when you go the distance, stay with the hard work, connect on a deep level bringing you a four legged support that unlocks a door to greater freedom in an often hard to understand and cope in world.
Here is a wonderful and beautifully written account of how it is for Jade and Archie the assistance dog. It is a truthful and heart-warming insight of how it was and is for her.
By Tess Eagle Swan