Service dogs for children and adults with autism act as constant companions and provide:
- Improved a child’s communication skills;
- Increased social skills;
- Help forming social bonds;
- Easing difficult transitions;
- Acting as a ballast to stop a bolting child;
- Interrupting repetitive and/or injurious behaviors;
- Finding a child who has wondered off;
- Aid in transitioning a young adult with autism to increased independence and work within the community.
Most often the dog, child and a primary handler (parent) act as a team. Some recipients with autism are able to pass the necessary tests to be primary handler of the dog.