Monday, December 1, 2008

Another service dog story

Parents of special needs kids sometimes have to cope with some major challenges. Autism and similar disorders can lead to agressive outbursts that are hard for parents to deal with, and hard for strangers to understand.

But what happens when you add a service dog trained in behavior disruption to the mix?

Here's a story from Samantha Putnam about her experience with her son Tristen and their new service dog Ajax:

Tristen had just finished with therapy and had a HUGE meltdown in the waiting room. He was down on the floor, kicking and smacking at me. He let out a loud scream and Ajax jumped up and ran around me and started nuzzling Tristen! I haven't had Ajax approach Tristen during a meltdown because I know he'd get smacked or kicked. And Tristen did smack him. Repeatedly. But every time I got between them, Ajax just went around me and right back to Tristen. Finally I just quit trying to stop him. He didn't stop until Tristen calmed down.

Now usually when Tristen has a severe meltdown his behavior is off for the rest of the day. But he hasn't had a meltdown since. We even stopped at the store on the way home. He and Ajax are now in the living room, lying in the dog bed, looking at a book. Day after day, it just keeps getting better.



LetRVoiceBHeard said...

A beautiful story about a service dog and how they know just what is needed even if we do not at the time.