Rhode Island Resource Directory

A Guide to Services Associated with RI 2-1-1

Autism Service Dogs

Code: LR-7950.0500

Programs that provide and train recipients in the use of dogs who have been taught to help people whose autism limits their ability to perform activities of daily living. The dogs may alert the individual to important sounds, e.g., a smoke alarm or the doorbell which may be lost in the overall onslaught of sensory input, guide the person from an overstimulating situation or find a specific person such as a caregiver when the person becomes confused, notify the person when s/he is exhibiting "stimming" behaviors such as hand flapping or head banging, and guide the person when in the community by drawing his or her attention to information that requires priority processing, e.g., when approaching an intersection. When partnered with a child, autism service dogs can help to ensure the child's safety by preventing or alerting parents to wandering or bolting behavior and tracking a child who succeeds in escaping; improve management of difficult behaviors such as seizures or tantrums; increase impulse control; facilitate sensory integration and calming; provide companionship and socialization support; and improve the child's ability to function in public.

See Also:

Autism Therapy (LR-0450)

Guard Dogs (FN-1500.2500)