This group will focus on the benefits dogs can have with individuals with Autism or any other special needs.
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  • Haha! Chopper has his days /:) Read my July 2013 Puppy Madness  thread
    ...oy!!!  He was a handful as a young pup but proved his worth. Now that he is almost 2 he is finally settling down a bit. This summer it was nice to see my older child off the computer and playing outside with Chopper. I believe dogs are more perceptive than we give them credit for.

  • Great to hear that things are well, Kimberly! Chopper sounds terrific - gosh, that is like a Lassie story! Do you think these dogs know our kids need special patience? Rip has been a terrific addition. He brought Will somewhat away from video games and into family life more. We are all more active thanks to him. I still am asking the boys to cooperate with more leadership stuff (call him to you for pets instead of approaching him, feeding him, walking him, ignoring after separations, etc.) but they selectively hear me. It will take time. On the other hand, Rippley is easily trained, haha! All the best and keep the stories coming!
  • How are things going with the new pup Cindy? I don't know about anyone else's experiences but Chopper has no problem with the boys and their craziness and Tristen got used to him fast. When he was younger he did snap at my younger son Tristen for jumping on him when he was sleeping but never actually bit him. Chopper is now used to it and will get up and move to another spot to sleep if he accidentally gets stepped on. He sleeps right at your feet when you are on the couch and sometimes we forget he is there. /:)
    Side story: When Chopper was just 4 months old he broke through the deck railing and jumped 8' down onto the beach unharmed  to chase down Tristen who had gotten out of the beach cottage, climbed over the stairs gate and ran off down the beach :/ He has since chased down Tris at least 2 more times when he ran off..GOOD DOGGIE!!! Tris is now 7 and does not run off/escape as much as he used too thankfully. Chopper and my older son are like litter mates paying together and destroying the house. :) 

  • Good luck, Kimberly! I am so happy to find this group also. My younger son (12) has adhd and ld and spd, so we are hoping also for the same kind of loyal friend in our soon to be pup. We must wait til june 7 though! I am concerned about the sudden noises and movements my son displays and how the dog will adjust to those unpredictable behaviors. Besides that, my son will be a mushpot and love this dog!! Does anyone have experience on how to help both adapt, or maybe book/training recommendations? We are in Nj btw. Thanks and best to all!
  • Wish us luck. Tomorrow we bring home our puppy. We have 2 sons ages 9 and 6. My youngest is high functioning autistic. I'm a little worried he will be afraid of the puppy. At school he enjoys the therapy dogs that come to visit but at my SIL's house he is afraid of their dog who has been nothing but sweet and gentle with him. Any advice GREATLY appreciated. Keep the stories coming. I love hearing about everyone's experiences. It gives me hope things will get better for my son.

  • Our therapy organization volunteers at the local library for a Paws to Read program.  The children's librarian and I have talked about how we would like to have a special program for autistic children.  I know there is a great  group in Chicago that has a program like this.  I'd love to see suggestions from this group!

  • Hi Melissa!  

    I'm happy to join this group and find new friends with the same similar situations as myself.  I'm glad my son has a new friend in Storm, our labradoodle, because in a few years, middle school will be here, kids can be cruel, but a dogs love is unconditional.



  • Hi Aimee,

    That is great! My son wasdiagnosed at 4 with high functioning autism as well. He also has followed a similiar path. It is hard to believe sometimes that this is the kid who at one time had 3 hours of speech a week along with other interventions.  Would love to hear how the training continues for Storm and your son, very cool :)

    Take care


  • Hello everyone!  :)

    I am a mother of  3 young boys, my  the eldest,  10 yrs. old , was diagnosed at age 4 having Autism, Aspergers Syndrome.  He is  high functioning Austistic.  It seems like a lifetime ago when he went through speech therapy, had his rituals and obsessions.  In the past 3 yrs he has made huge strides, been exited from his school's Autistic program, and even looks me in the eye and hugs me every now and then(- as i remember how uncomfortable he was receiving hugs). Our new labradoodle puppy has added joy to our lives.My son loves to spend time with our new pup and is learning to train our new puppy ,Storm. Its great to see my son spending time bonding with Storm. We are looking forward to undergo professional therapy training for our dog . This is an exciting time for us!

    Aimee S.


  • Stephanie, what are his specific objections to a "big dog in the house"?  Ultimately a TRAINED service dog should in no way be a nuisance in a house.  If he's just a pet that has some service skills then he could still be a handful in the eyes of someone who does NOT want a big dog in the house.  BUT...a dog especially trained to be a service dog by a reputable organization should be a pretty easy dog to live with.

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