Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome

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Aeturnus
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25 May 2006, 1:37 pm

There is an article on the frontpage of this website regarding "Service dogs for those with Asperger's Syndrome." In the article, there is mention of this boy who is captivated by a dog, so much so that it calms him down.

The thing is, however ... why, then, don't dogs calm me down? I've had mostly one dog at my side through most of my life, mostly family pets, and they haven't done much to calm me down. Aside from the fact that I don't feel the attachment to animals that most NTs tend to have, I don't like to bothered by dogs jumping on me, wanting a lot of attention and so forth. I don't have the desire to play with animals like most NTs do. I won't say that I don't like dogs, because I do, much better than cats ... but, I have to say that I could take it or leave it. I know as well that I wouldn't feel an attachment to a human, either, such as when having a kid, so I would rather not have one.

My family takes care of my pets, for the most part. I just don't have the motivation to take care of them, just like I don't have the motivation to take care of the house. My room is like a pigsty, with books on the floor, stacked up on the shelves, yet I know where everything is, but people think it's sort of messy. I'll clean up a few things when it starts to really bother me, but that could be quite some time. I have to even muster the motivation to take care of myself, like to take a shower and so forth. I just don't care, really. I guess something happened with me many years ago, something where I lost the sort of nurturing need that most NTs are supposed to have.

Yet, I hear about aspies who have these nurturing needs, like this boy in this article, so I can only wonder if there is something seriously wrong with me. Maybe I'm a sociopath, who knows?

- Ray M -



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25 May 2006, 3:18 pm

Not everyone is the same what might work for you mite not for someone else just like meds. I love my dog and he realy calms me down a lot and I bring him with me as much as I can. Just becuse we both have AS doesn't mean we will like the same things.


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drummer_girl
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25 May 2006, 5:02 pm

i hear ya as far as the b edroom thing is.. my mum constantly nags me that mhy room is a 'tip' and looks like something off 'a life of grime' (a tv show in england showing peoples houses that have rats everywhere and crap all over the floor etc). she does exaggerate!!
i know exactly where everything is in my bedroom. if im made to tidy it i start losing where things belong. and after the course ofa few weeks it is back how i like it. not messy, just spread out how i like it.

i feel more of a connection toward animals than i do humans. i find it very nice to stroke my cats. i dont and never have had a dog, because we all work so it wouldetn be fair to keep a dog as they need alot of attention compared to cats.
i used to have a guinea pig called Poppy, who i adored. she would get up on her back legs and put her front ones up on the bars of her hutch whenver i came along and used to squeal with delight!! she was fun!.
my 2 cats, one of them doesnt mind attention now a nd again but doesnt really like being picked up or stroked for too long.
the other cat is fine and he will follow me around and put his front paws on my leg as if to say, pick me up! he loves being stroked and i can be stroking him and messing with him for 20 minutes without a 2nd thought. hes 14 and acts like a kitten - he still chases his own tail like hes never seen it before, and catches it in his paws before biting it and then realising its attached to him!! and he still responds to swinging toys and show laces and the like! the daft cat



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25 May 2006, 7:24 pm

drummer_girl wrote:
i hear ya as far as the b edroom thing is.. my mum constantly nags me that mhy room is a 'tip' and looks like something off 'a life of grime' (a tv show in england showing peoples houses that have rats everywhere and crap all over the floor etc). she does exaggerate!!
i know exactly where everything is in my bedroom. if im made to tidy it i start losing where things belong. and after the course ofa few weeks it is back how i like it. not messy, just spread out how i like it.

i feel more of a connection toward animals than i do humans. i find it very nice to stroke my cats. i dont and never have had a dog, because we all work so it wouldetn be fair to keep a dog as they need alot of attention compared to cats.
i used to have a guinea pig called Poppy, who i adored. she would get up on her back legs and put her front ones up on the bars of her hutch whenver i came along and used to squeal with delight!! she was fun!.
my 2 cats, one of them doesnt mind attention now a nd again but doesnt really like being picked up or stroked for too long.
the other cat is fine and he will follow me around and put his front paws on my leg as if to say, pick me up! he loves being stroked and i can be stroking him and messing with him for 20 minutes without a 2nd thought. hes 14 and acts like a kitten - he still chases his own tail like hes never seen it before, and catches it in his paws before biting it and then realising its attached to him!! and he still responds to swinging toys and show laces and the like! the daft cat


I feel emotional connections with inanimate subject matter, usually something having to do with a personal deep interest. I think that, somewhere along the way, I replaced human companionship with that of inanimate objects. I can socialize fairly well in many circumstances, though my fear of conflict sometimes shows. Maybe it has a lot to do with some of the tension I lived with growing up, like trying to keep myself in control all the time. The slightest things would set me off, and I just grew extremely distant from people.

I have wondered off and on why I don't feel any emotional connection, and I tend to see myself as selfish, with a caring that is so egocentric, it's not even funny. I know this, though, and I know that it protects me from the harsh realities out in the real world. I also know that when I have to, I can fit in to the best of my abilities, usually quite well. The tension, though, is always there. I am always alert to the slightest hint of criticism, then I might retreat back into my own little world. It can be annoying, because I know from a rational perspective that I just shouldn't let slight criticisms bother me, but my emotional side just takes it all over. I think my rational perspective, though, is what keeps me sane.

- Ray M -



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25 May 2006, 11:14 pm

I've always been connected to animals more than people. Actually I bond more with objects than people.

So in order Dogs, other pets, objects, people. Most people in my life just get used to it.

If I get a puppy - I'm taking at least two weeks off. Last time I had to negotiate with work for doggie day car onsite. The human kids get it --- why not my much nicer - already housebroken at 3 months perfect angel.

If one of my dogs is sick --- it is a crisis and people learn to understand that it is my baby --- in fact when my last dog had a stroke at 16 I was on business travel and the only way work was able to keep me on the job -- as opposed to running home- was to cover her ICU care including a private duty critical care nurse. -- she recovered and lived but what else can I say--- four legged family comes first.

I am a pig but my kids have clean water, recirculated and bubbled, clean bedding and binkies, toys, fresh home cooked meals and at least 3 hrs of quality time a day.



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29 May 2006, 9:22 am

Having my dog around doesn't necessarily calm me down, but it does make me feel more confident and better able to handle social situations and better able to confront sensory overload. I love the idea, and could probably train my own dog to handle it. Dogs are, literally, my world. (I have not gone a day without thinking of dogs once in my memory.)

To be honest, sometimes I'm amazed that I love dogs as much as I do (although perhaps 'am obsessed with' is closer to the truth). I mean, I can barely tolerate my own youngest sister--she's three--and I have strong issues with anyone younger than five. Dogs are usually somewhat messy, loud, and demanding in the same way that a human toddler is, but I love being around dogs and hate being around human children. I don't understand why; perhaps it's because dogs understand when enough is enough.


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15 Sep 2006, 1:02 pm

Since becoming aware that certain "problems" were not going to be "grown out of," I have seriously considered getting a service dog, not to keep me from running out in front of a car, but to provide a constant sense of companionship and, as a pleasant side effect, some social interaction. I find animals to be be my outlet for emotions I don't understand and can't really communicate effectively without writing them down--a process that is frustrating for all people involved. My dogs, while not technically "service dogs," allow me to just sit there, or give them hugs, or just tocuh them without needing me to speak. They just seem to be able to sense things that I cannot explain.

I want a service dog because of the comfort they provide, and because I do have a tendency to get lost and confused, and once walked right past my house. I also have a hard time with direction: I have one orientation, and to get to a location, I have to start at a certain place. To ask me to get to work from school would require me to go home first, and THEN go to work, even though the bus goes right to work. A service dog can "solve" this "oddity" by showing me the way.

I want a service dog because I get very anxious and stressed in new situations, and frequently become disoriented in loud or crowded areas. If my dogs at home provide a centering effect, my hope is that a service dog will provde that same comfort in the "real world." Also, I have observed that people with service animals seem to get more individual space from people.

Plus, everyone loves dogs, and having one provides a "spring board" (not literally) for conversation (which I find stressful), plus people are generally a lot more accepting of a VISUAL disability than an invisible, silent one, and despite the fact that I will still have an invisible disability, I am pretty sure (based on observance of human behavior) that having a visual reference makes odd behavior a little less so. People have something to focus on and talk about. Perception determines reality, right?

But I can't afford a service dog, and I am sure that I do not qualify for assistance because I am so "high functioning," but maybe I might be able to. Maybe.


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15 Sep 2006, 1:17 pm

if anything, i get nervous around dogs because they scare me.



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15 Sep 2006, 1:24 pm

I remember sitting on our back steps and crying and talking to my dog, usually about feeling lonely and not understanding people. He was half german shepard and half collie. I would hug him and he would sit there listening intently with the most quizical expressions, surely having no idea what I was saying and I knew he didn't, but he knew how I was feeling and he cared. It was very therapeutic. I've developed an allergy to dogs now.
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15 Sep 2006, 1:25 pm

dexkaden wrote:
Since becoming aware that certain "problems" were not going to be "grown out of," I have seriously considered getting a service dog, not to keep me from running out in front of a car, but to provide a constant sense of companionship and, as a pleasant side effect, some social interaction. I find animals to be be my outlet for emotions I don't understand and can't really communicate effectively without writing them down--a process that is frustrating for all people involved. My dogs, while not technically "service dogs," allow me to just sit there, or give them hugs, or just tocuh them without needing me to speak. They just seem to be able to sense things that I cannot explain.

I want a service dog because of the comfort they provide, and because I do have a tendency to get lost and confused, and once walked right past my house. I also have a hard time with direction: I have one orientation, and to get to a location, I have to start at a certain place. To ask me to get to work from school would require me to go home first, and THEN go to work, even though the bus goes right to work. A service dog can "solve" this "oddity" by showing me the way.

I want a service dog because I get very anxious and stressed in new situations, and frequently become disoriented in loud or crowded areas. If my dogs at home provide a centering effect, my hope is that a service dog will provde that same comfort in the "real world." Also, I have observed that people with service animals seem to get more individual space from people.

Plus, everyone loves dogs, and having one provides a "spring board" (not literally) for conversation (which I find stressful), plus people are generally a lot more accepting of a VISUAL disability than an invisible, silent one, and despite the fact that I will still have an invisible disability, I am pretty sure (based on observance of human behavior) that having a visual reference makes odd behavior a little less so. People have something to focus on and talk about. Perception determines reality, right?

But I can't afford a service dog, and I am sure that I do not qualify for assistance because I am so "high functioning," but maybe I might be able to. Maybe.


You pretty much described me there. However, in my case, not practial until my bother and I are living in different households.



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15 Sep 2006, 2:14 pm

I have always loved animals,anything with fur especially.I think petting fur is an "exceptable" form of stimming.My cats really miss me when I have to leave the house,I think they love me.There have been times in my life where they have been the only "beings" I felt cared if I lived or died and it has helped me stay alive, when I couldn't think of any other reason worth doing so.I have always had difficulty bonding with people.I even suspect that my obsessions with certain guys has been more of as an "object"then as people(bit embarrassing to admit).My animals feel more like an extension of "me".
By nurturing them,I nurture myself.I am not to good about showering,cleaning the house,or being able to find things when I need them.I would love to have someone come organise and put things in order(I like order),but I dont seem to be able to do this very well(to much stuff and not enough space)mostly my house is "piles" of things I plan on sorting through "someday"but I can think of a million things I would rather be doing...so I do them instead.

I wouldnt want a service dog because I dont like to draw peoples attention or give them an excuse to approach me....everybody wants to "pet your dog"...thats how I feel when I see one!!


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dexkaden
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15 Sep 2006, 2:22 pm

krex wrote:
I wouldnt want a service dog because I dont like to draw peoples attention or give them an excuse to approach me....everybody wants to "pet your dog"...thats how I feel when I see one!!


That is one reason I would LOVE a service dog--people will "approach" me and give me a chance where they wouldn't have before. At least, that is how I see it. I could also see it getting out of hand, too.


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15 Sep 2006, 3:37 pm

Not being able to have a dog is the worst thing about college.



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15 Sep 2006, 6:09 pm

I like animals, like dogs, but not a lot. I prefer reptiles :D

I had an iguana, and I loved it, but two weeks ago it escaped. :cry: I was very sad, and I cried a lot, a feeling that I never had showed for another animal in my family. Now I'm feeling better, I'm leaving sorrow behind. Nevertheless, my family says I was happier, nicer and less-stressed before my iguana escaped than now. I don't see the difference, but that's the opinion of my family.

I'm searching for another reptile. Maybe you don't like dogs, cats, or common animals. But I think having a pet is a good therapy for AS. Try with other type of animal :wink:



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15 Sep 2006, 6:15 pm

One of my earlier fascinations was with animals, and for a period of time it was reptiles in particular. They are fascinating creatures. Some snakes apparently make very good pets and are very domesticable like king snakes and I've read that indigo snakes are particularly trainable and become affectionate for their owners. Maybe I should look into that again since I'm allergic to dogs. I suppose I could get a cat but I'm so particular about cleanliness and odors. Maybe it would be ok now that I have leather furniture (easy to clean) and I could maybe work something out with the litter box.