News, Culture & Society

Service Animals for Children with Special Needs

A society that guarantees the same rights for everyone? Sounds great! To reach this equality we just need to accept that each person is worthy of normal life.

Disabled people also should feel comfortable among others, so it is reasonable to let them adapt from childhood.

If your kid requires regular assistance or even lacks some life skills, think about taking a service dog for him or her.

What is a service animal?

Service animals are, normally, dogs that were individually trained to aid disabled individuals in everyday life. They should perform tasks according to owners’ needs.

A service dog can not only light switches or bring back a dropped item but also provide support for people. These canines are protected by the Americans with disabilities act and have plenty of rights as working animals.

There are also emotional support dogs and therapy dogs. And it is essential that everyone should understand they are not the same as service dogs.

An emotional support animal consoles a frustrated person who seriously suffers from it. After getting an emotional support dog you will handle stress and hard moments better. Emotional support animals have a few special permissions, too.

Therapy animals usually work with patients in hospitals and nursing homes. They should console a lot of individuals, that is why a therapy animal is trained to interact with people of different tempers.

They are also considered to be working animals, though they are not given any special permissions.

How to get a service dog?

If you feel like taking a service dog for a family member or a friend, turn to special communities, such as Assistance Dogs International. They will find a highly trained animal or teach your dog to aid with certain tasks.

When you have a service dog, do not forget that its registration will bring you a lot of benefits!

You can read more about all the Service Animals rights and obligations, given to a certificated service dog, and then decide whether it should be registered or not. Whatever you choose, it is always able to provide aid, according to a handler’s disability.

Service dogs for children with disabilities

Nowadays the idea of taking service dogs for children with disabilities becomes increasingly popular.

Care of a child with mental or physical issues requires a lot of time, funds, and patience. And if it is somehow problematic for your family, consider getting a qualified service dog for your kid.

There are plenty of types of service dogs. You need to think about the functions it will carry out and about the breed that is suitable by size and temper. Thinking like that would help you to select the right dog for a child.

So, let us tell you about the main kinds of service animals.

Traditional service dog

Traditional service dogs, or mobility dogs, are usually trained to help children suffering from physical disabilities.

These canines open doors or even retrieve dropped items for their owners. Mobility dogs also help wheelchair users with public transportation, so consider taking an athletic breed, such as Labrador Retrievers.

Balance dog

A balanced dog, or a walker, is a kind of traditional service dog.

Balance dogs are mostly needed by those who have trouble with walking or keeping equilibrium.

Such canine should prevent falls of a child with a physical disability and assist him or her in moving, so it is also reasonable to choose an appropriate candidate among strong breeds.

Psychiatric service dog

If your child has any developmental disabilities, problems with emotional well-being, or a mental illness, a psychiatric service animal will make his or her life easier.

These canines are trained to aid children with autism spectrum adapt to social settings and develop necessary life skills. They are also often taken for comforting kids who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychiatric service dogs are thoroughly selected from the breeds that are most suitable for service work. The main requirements are intelligence and tenderness of dogs, so you may think about a smaller version of a service dog.

For instance, Border Collie or Miniature Schnauzer could be perfect assistants for a child.

Seizure response dog

Seizure response dogs are animals specially trained to assist those who suffer from epilepsy. They should call for help and then stay near the owner in case a seizure happens.

As it may require the physical support of a disabled individual or even his or her removal from a dangerous location, a seizure response dog has to be powerful enough. Bernese Mountain dogs are suitable for such tasks.

Hearing dog

The name of hearing dogs speaks for itself. Thanks to this service dog’s presence, a child will be able to respond properly to alarm clocks, door knocks, or other noises.

There are a lot of ways to inform a deaf kid about something. For instance, a canine may retrieve items creating sound and bring them to their owner’s lap. Many breeds will easily handle this work.

Guide dog

Ancestors of all assistance dogs are guide dogs that were trained to accompany blind people and help them lead a normal life. It was one of the first service animals to get public access to different places.

If a reason for your child’s special needs is poor vision, think about taking a German Shepherd in a role of a guide dog for him or her.

Medical alert dog

Medical alert dogs may help a child who suffers from a medical condition. They usually prevent any risks and remind handlers to take necessary medicines. For example, diabetic alert dogs may feel a level of blood sugar and alert the owner if it is too high or too low.

For this work, it is better to select a sensitive and smart breed, while its size does not matter so much.

In a nutshell

If your child has any developmental disabilities, consider taking a service dog for him or her. Mind that it is not just a family pet.

Service dogs are, first of all, working tools given a lot of rights and protected by the law. These dogs may aid either with psychiatric disabilities or physical impairments. You may choose the kind of service dog according to your child’s needs.