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Any advice please? Dog and non-verbal ASD child

(5 Posts)
MartinRohdesBellybuttonFluff Fri 09-Mar-18 21:11:28

I would love love love to get a dog. My youngest DC has autism, is non-verbal and has ADHD. He is at playschool and I am a stay at home parent. I don't think I could manage a very young puppy but would love to give a home to a rescue dog.

I think (for Mother's Day) my special treat will be to go to look at some dogs at a shelter with the rest of my family (esp to gauge DS's reaction).

Please can you offer me any advice on what I should be looking for and what I should be considering? My gut is telling me to have a good look at the lurchers.

Thanks in advance.

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fleshmarketclose Fri 09-Mar-18 22:01:01

I would say that it would probably be best to wait a few years before you think of getting a dog tbh and I say that as Mum to two with autism and a dog.
My reasons for waiting would be that you will undoubtedly be up for many challenges over the next few years and you are going to need all your resources to cope with them without the extra challenge of a dog.
Ideally you need to see how your dc develops and how he behaves and whether he would cope around a dog. I know that for ds it wouldn't have been fair to have a dog when he was younger as his behaviour was unpredictable and I couldn't have guaranteed that the dog wouldn't have been a target for his frustrations (he didn't really speak until he was seven)
Even older dogs aren't bombproof and could be a danger to a child that might be neither as calm or as gentle or as reliably predictable as you might hope for.
Dd was 11 and ds 19 when we got Eric as a pup. They hated the first few weeks as Eric was hard work and they disliked the disruption to their lives. Eric was a very astute puppy though and knew from his earliest days that he needed to be gentle round ds and whilst he would jump up and chase dd he would sit quietly at ds's feet until ds touched him.
Now Eric is 4 and he is much loved and he loves ds and dd just as much. He is a good friend to them both.
I would say it was definitely right to wait until we had the time and rom in our lives to bring a dog into a house with autism in the mix.

BrownOwlknowsbest Fri 09-Mar-18 22:36:39

Might be worth contacting these people supportdogs.org.uk/our-work/autism-assistance-dogs/
Even if they do not have a dog available for you they should be able to advise on what sort of dog is suitable.

Ylvamoon Fri 09-Mar-18 23:09:18

... or try to get a failed guide dog!
Don't go to the dog shelter. They are noisy and very intense places.
and very upsetting, you will go back there and end up sharing your home with 3 large hairy slobby dogs!

MartinRohdesBellybuttonFluff Fri 09-Mar-18 23:44:55

Thank you very much for the feedback.

I am not in the UK. Assistance dogs and Guide Dogs who haven't quite made the grade are rarer than hens' teeth here. I have phoned, asked, checked and all the above again on a couple of occasions. It's not going to happen for us.

The shelter I would like to go to is like a day out at the zoo (I've been told), lots of goats, horses, donkeys, birds etc. Lots of families go there for days out as it is up the mountains. I am hoping that it won't be too overwhelming.

Will take this in small steps and yes fleshmarketclose if the time is not right I won't rush it. Son and dog must be happy to co-habit!

This is a real yearning though! Argh!

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