Respect the Vest

By: Taylor Younger, The Charter News Features — 

      What is autism? Autism is a condition that creates challenges, this includes social skills, repetitive behavior, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as unique strengths and differences. Autism has an estimated prevalence as one in sixty eight children in the united states. Which includes one in forty two boys and one in a hundred eighty nine girls.

      Autism can sometimes be hard for these kids to communicate with adults and other children their ages. But these kids are open to the opportunity to have an autism service dog right by their side.  Autism service dogs provide physical safety and an emotional anchor for kids with autism. By having a service dog for these children it makes their day to day activities seem a little less scary and hard. For these dogs to be able to help these children they need to pass a certain series of achievements. These achievements include non aggressiveness, no sniffing people or other dogs while on duty. To be able to withstand different public surroundings, ignores food on the floor or food the handler or people around the dog has. Works calmly on the leash, no urinating or dropping a dump unless given a special command to do so etc.

     Here at ACA we have two autism service dog trainers. Those trainers are Mrs. Mohr and Grana Khan. Grana Khan says that “we as an ACA community can help these dogs complete their training by not distracting them from their responsibilities.” Grana Khan doesn’t get to help the autistic children handle the dogs, but she gets to make sure that the dogs she trains are ready for the kids. Mrs.Mohr (Grana Khan’s inspiration) says that “we can respect the role these dogs have in our community and respect the vest”.