Autism manifests itself most strikingly as impairments in communication and in the formation of social relationships.
Children with Autism are often nonverbal, or when they are verbal they usually do not use the skill to actively communicate with other people in their environment.
Many children with this disability have a strong need for a structured, routine environment; change creates feelings or fear and/or anxiety. Some children even exhibit serious behavioral changes including, at times, self-injury.
Sleeping – or the lack of sleep
Mental Health Service Dogs open doors for people with psychological disabilities.
Unleash Your Potential.
magine having a dog that could help you become a part of the world again.
SDFI specializes in privately training Mental Health Service Dogs for qualified individuals with neurological disorders, mental illness, developmental disorders, intellectual disorders, and other psychological conditions that rise to the level of a disability.
Enhanced Quality of Life and Personal Freedom.
SDFI Service Dogs are highly trained to enhance the lives of their handlers by helping them to live independently. Each Service Dog is tailor trained to meet the specific needs of the individual with whom they will be placed. These talented dogs are trained to help their handlers within the home, as well as outside of the home.
SDFI Service Dogs are trained to perform tasks that help ease debilitating symptoms of some psychological impairments.
Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, and Tourette Syndrome.
Listed below are examples of some of the many tasks Mental Health Service Dogs can be trained to do for their handler.
Assist handler within their home.
Assist handler in places of public accommodation (e.g. grocery stores, shopping malls, public transportation, and etc.).
Assist in coping with emotional overload by bringing handler into the “here and now.”
Provide a buffer or a shield for the handler in crowded areas by creating a physical boundary.
Extinguish flashbacks by bringing handler into the here and now.
Orient during panic/anxiety attack.
Stand behind handler to increase feelings of safety, reduce hyper-vigilance, and decrease the likelihood of the handler being startled by another person coming up behind them.
Many of the benefits to owning a Service Dog extend beyond having the dog's assistance with certain tasks. Such benefits are inherent in the human-canine relationship and often include:
Relief from feelings of isolation.
An increased sense of well-being.
Daily structure and healthy habits.
An increased sense of security.
An increased sense of self-efficacy.
An increased sense of self-esteem.
An increased sense of purpose.
Mood improvement, and increased optimism.
A secure and uncomplicated relationship.
A dependable and predictable love, affection and nonjudgmental companionship.
Motivation to exercise.
Encouragement for social interactions.
Reduction in debilitating symptoms.
Greater access to the world.
Around the clock support.
Service Dogs For Independence