A 2016 report from the Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
TLCAD’s Leash-On-Life program addresses the rising prevalence and unique needs of individuals with autism by providing service dogs to individuals with autism and facilities that provide services to individuals with autism.
Service dogs can address the following functional domains affected by autism:
Safety skills are increased by:
Handle-led walking with a third party handler.
Note: Tether-led walking is a short-term strategy used on a case by case basis in order to help the child with autism learn the handle-led walking contingency. Tether-led walking is faded and transferred to handle led walking as soon as possible and is only used in cases where the child’s size and dog’s physical ability allow for it.
Secondary leash walking, where the individual with autism holds a leash attached to the dog’s service dog vest is a variation of handle- led walking that is considered for use on a case by case basis, depending upon the needs of service dog team.