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Service Dogs for Autism Essay

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As of 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in 50 children between the ages of six and seventeen has autism spectrum disorder, with males being four times more likely than females to have these conditions (Slaughter 1). Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the brains normal development of social and communication skills. Service dogs are normally used to aid the blind, deaf or hard of hearing, and other types of disabilities. Service dogs have recently been used to help children with autism. The service dog industry has had a growing impact on the autism community, the benefits and disadvantages affect each child differently.
Autism was first discovered by Leo Kanner in 1943, he labeled it as early infantile autism. Most causes of autistic children before Kanner’s discovery were thought to be possessed and were put through very inhumane conditions. Autism is the prototypical form of a spectrum of related, complex, neuro developmental disorders referred to as autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs), also known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) (Berry 73). The main symptom of Autism is the inability to easily communicate and interact with others. A cure for autism has not been discovered, but there are reports of some children that have naturally recovered. Symptoms are noticed in early years of life, normally around the age of three. The onset of the disease must be before the age of three years (Berry 73). The families with an autistic child have to adjust their daily activities around the child at all times. It is very difficult for an autistic child to be in a crowded area or in new environments.
Dogs have been the most common service assistance animal since 1927. There are ...


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...risten E., Cindy L. Adams, and Suzanne T. Millman. "Factors Affecting Behavior And Welfare Of Service Dogs For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder." Journal Of Applied Animal Welfare Science 11.1 (2008): 42-62. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
Davis B. W., et al. "Assistance Dog Placement In The Pediatric Population: Benefits, Risks, And Recommendations For Future Application." Anthrozoos 17.2 (2004): 130-145. Environment Complete. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
Slaughter, Virginia, Ph.D. "Autism." Magill’S Medical Guide (Online Edition) (2013): Research Starters. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Waterlander, Tara A. "Canines In The Classroom: When Schools Must Allow A Service Dog To Accompany A Child With Autism Into The Classroom Under Federal And State Laws." George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal 22.3 (2012): 337-388. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.



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