Use of service animals rises for those with autism
An increasing number of students with Asperger Syndrome or autism are opting to use service animals on campus. Social Service Dogs, more commonly known as SSig Dogs, can give the user behavioral feedback, aid in navigating the campus environment, and relay social cues and other types of sensory input. Check with your school’s disability support service office for policies on service animals. But under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as any animal “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” There are a number of local and national organizations that provide service animals. Paws With a Cause is one resource. Students under age 18 can turn to Asssistance Dogs International. While theories abound about which breeds make the best service dogs, Doberman lovers tout the breeds’ strength in partnering with people on the autism spectrum.
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