Can Do Canines trains Autism Assist Dogs to help provide security and peace of mind to families of children with autism.
When in public, the child wears a specially designed belt that connects a pack the dog wears to the child, while an adult handles the dog’s leash. If the child attempts to run (a common behavior for autistic children), the dog becomes a gentle, steady anchor to keep the child safe until the adult can get the situation under control.
Autism Assist Dogs also act as a social bridge, so when people talk to the child about their dog it encourages the child to interact and make connections.
Depending on the needs of the child, our dogs may also help in these ways:
- gently interrupting harmful stimming behavior
- lying across or against the child to provide deep pressure therapy
- helping teach the child about care routines for another being
General Criteria for Autism Assist Dog Applicants:
- The family must reside in Minnesota.
- The child must be between the ages of 2 and 7 years old when applying.
- The child must have an autism diagnosis.
- The family must be physically and financially able to take full responsibility for the dog after certification.
Click on the image below to watch a video about our Autism Assist Teams.