My family got our first pet, a dog, 3 weeks ago. She is a sweetheart. We always knew we would get a dog someday and it just felt like the right time. I was a bit nervous about bringing a dog into the house with our son, Drew. He has Asperger’s and you never know what will bother him until it is in front of him. Even though he said he wanted a dog, I wasn’t sure if it would be a good choice.
I did a little bit of reading and found that a pet can be a wonderful companion for a child with autism or Asperger’s. One of the benefits that stood out to me was how kids with autism enjoy having a pet because dogs and cats do not use words to express their emotions. My son has a hard time talking about how he is feeling and by bonding with a dog, they both can express their feelings in other ways.
In some cases a dog can be trained to work with a child with autism. This is especially wonderful for more severe cases. It is great that dogs can help kids with special needs. If a child with autism tends to wonder off, a dog can keep them where they need to be.
Since having the dog my son has shown her a lot of love by petting her or giving her hugs. He also tells me that he misses her if we have been out for a few hours. Although he isn’t like his brothers who wants to run and jump around with her, I can tell he already has a soft spot in his heart for her.
I want to say that she has brought out a side of him that we humans can’t. He is sweet with her, even on his rough days. I enjoy seeing them together and it confirms that getting her was the right decision for our family.
Are you a pet lover?
May is National Pet Month and Purina is giving away up to $100,000 in fun prizes to those of us with an affinity for our furry friends. For every person that plays their instant win game, Purina will donate $0.10 to Adopt-a-Pet.com. Check out Paw It Forward to win. Good luck!
How does a pet bring enjoyment to your special needs child?