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Joined: 21 May 2012
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Posts: 322

10 Sep 2016, 2:40 pm

I, as a young woman with autism, have recently began to try and persuade my parents to let me get an assistance dog. I know i would be waiting up to a year to receive a fully qualified dog which would be fine and I am totally excited about the prospect of a constant companion and helper. My parents are slightly less convinced. They totally agree that I would hugely benefit from an assistance dog- especially as I would love to begin training as a vet nurse in the next year or two. That would mean travelling every day on multiple busses in a busy city, which at the moment is an impossibility for me on my own, however for me with a dog that could calm me as well as keep me safe it would be a possibility.
I need to convince my parents, not about the benefits of the dog, but that the benefits outweigh the cons. They are worried I will simply 'stop caring' about the dog after a while, as recently I have had issues with keeping interest in anything (although this may be because I am currently suffering from anxiety and depression). They are also worried that it would be much harder having two dogs, since we already have one, that it would be more expensive altogether (two lots of dog food, two lots of health care, two lots of insurance etc)
Do any parents out there have a child with a service dog? can you add any other pro's and con's to add?



Joined: 3 Jun 2016
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 995

10 Sep 2016, 7:34 pm

I think its a great idea. But I also know that having a real service dog is an expensive proposition. They specially train the puppies to do specific tasks. In the case of autism, mostly presenting a certain way when a meldown is coming, and bring the human to safety. But its not as easy as simply getting any dog and putting a vest on them. The dog has to be trained to be in public, to ignore temptation like food and other animals, and to obey commands 100%. Its a big deal. An emotional companion dog is easier. But they are not allowed on buses and stores and stuff like service dogs.