Story of an Autism Service Dog – “Mom! Otis took my Blanket!”
One of the biggest areas of concern that parents with special needs children have is the consistent lack of sleep their children seem to run on. The trickle effect to this area of concern, is the parents cannot get a good night’s rest either. The stress that parents consume by sleeping with one eye open is astronomical, often parents do not realize this until the problem is solved.
Our Autism Service Dogs at Highland Canine Training often help reduce if not resolve this problem with children. I have had parents set up video cameras in their child’s room just to get an understanding of what goes on in the wee hours of the morning. Some mother’s explained that their child just sat wide awake for hours at a time. Other children are restless and move around the room or the house. Parents are often afraid the children will bolt through a window or door and have to take extreme measures to ensure their child’s safety.
To reduce the worry and anxiety most parents resort to having their children sleep with them, that way they know exactly where their child is and can feel/hear them when they move around. This seems like a great idea when they are babies and toddlers but unfortunately the kids keep growing! This can lead to dependency problems for the child and marital problems for the adults for obvious reasons.
Our Autism Service Dog Trainers mimic these situations to the best of their ability and have the dogs accustomed to sleeping in the bed and staying put with the children. We feel that the deep pressure the dogs provide for the children give them a sense of security which allows them to sleep uninterrupted for longer periods of time. We have had children who have not slept in their own bed in 13 years and make the transition to independence in the first few nights.
Of course with change you have regression, as one adorable boy named Noah burst into his mom’s room after having many nights of success within in his own bed and plops down with a look of frustration. Noah explains that his Autism Service Dog, “Otis T”, swept up his covers into a nice pile to nest in, leaving Noah with just a corner to cover up with. I feel sure many of you parents can relate to Noah’s’ frustration!
If you feel an Autism Service Dog could help with your child or have questions about Autism Service Dogs, feel free to contact us at 866.200.2207 or firstname.lastname@example.org