As parents of Autistic kids we clutch at every straw possible. We research and research to find anything that could be beneficial to our little ones. I think the best thing I decided to try was a Dog!!
After lots of research about Autism Assistance Dogs, I decided it would be a good idea for Jamie to have an Assistance Dog, but unfortunately at the time we were still going through diagnosis and you need a diagnosis to qualify for a dog. So we did more research to see if “any old dog” would be of benefit to an autistic child? So I joined forums and groups and read articles and decided that we were going to get J a dog.
We looked at all the different breeds and decided that something small would be nice and as we live in the Lakes a Border Terrier or a Patterdale Terrier would be lovely as they originate from here (and they’re really cute!!). So I went on the http://www.pets4homes.co.uk and looked for the breeds locally and found this beautiful little puppy.
Turns out she is a Border Terrier crossed with a Patterdale Terrier. J fell instantly in love with her and we named her Roxy. We have had Roxy for nearly 3 years now and she is an amazing dog. She hasn’t had any special training but she just knows what to do when J is upset or having a meltdown. She will happily be picked up and cuddled tightly when J needs a cuddle, if J cries she is the first one there with licks to the face to cheer her up. J also loves the texture of her fur (or as I have been told lots of times hair), she is quite wirey and if J is fidgety she will sit with her hand playing with the fur on her back. We recently took her into school to meet everyone as J always talks about her special dog.
We all love Roxy and she is very much a family pet but we all know the special bond between her and J and she knows it too. One of the best things we ever did was get our daughter a dog, but it’s not for everyone, she needs walked 3 times a day which is usually left to me, she needs fed and watered, annual injections, regular flea treatments and worming. Getting a dog is a very serious commitment but I couldn’t imagine our family without her.