Is a Therapy Dog Right for Your Child with Autism?
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Autism or autism spectrum disorder is a set of conditions with symptoms such as repetitive behaviors, challenges in communication and social skills, sleep disorders and sensory sensitivities. For many children, the signs of autism begin to become apparent by the age of two or three. Sometimes autism developmental delays may lead to an even earlier diagnosis.
There are varying degrees of autism, and while there is no cure, there are many therapies, tools and interventions that may be helpful.
One option families explore is bringing an autism therapy dog into their family. While there can be benefits, a therapy dog may not be the right fit for every child or family.
What is a Therapy Dog?
Sometimes “therapy dog” is used as a blanket term, but there are differences between service dogs and therapy dogs. There is also a third category to be aware of, which is a companion dog.