Cerebral Palsy equipment and accessories including wheelchairs, scooters,
standers, walkers, computers, seating, car seats, braces and dogs.
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy

DogsCerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral Palsy

Dogs have long been known as “man’s best friend,” and the same can hold true for your child with disabilities. A specially-trained service dog can be invaluable to a child’s mental and emotional health, as well as being exceedingly helpful for everyday companionship and functionality.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

Many psychologists agree that some children with disabilities have difficulty developing “normal” social patterns, and this can result in difficulty developing “normal” relationships. Having a dog companion can greatly aid in letting a child learn how to form strong bonds. One of the hardest parts of being cerebral palsied is the ever-changing environment of life – multiple doctor visits, new mechanical aids to adjust to, new doctors and counselors to meet and trust, etc. Having a service dog can introduce a level on consistency into a disabled child’s life, as well as create a “team” mentality between the child and his or her dog, thus helping the child learn the necessary skills to be able to have a fruitful and successful social life.

Having a service dog can, in addition to helping your child grow and develop more healthfully, help you as a parent. The service dog can take some of the weight of your shoulders and be of great assistance in a life situation that can easily become overwhelming by occupying and accompanying your child when you may not be able to give your full attention to him or her.

Assistance dogs have been found to be particularly helpful with children with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. It has been found that a trained dog will sense an oncoming seizure in a 'their" human due to changes in their body chemistry which the dog can smell. They can then respond in the way that they were trained.

Service dogs will not be appropriate for all children. Check with your child's "team" as well as with the organizations who train service dogs to see if a service dog would be a good match for your child's needs. One trainer reminds potential owners of assistance dogs that they are dogs and should not be solely responsible for the welfare of a child especially out of doors. Even the best trained animal might be distracted by a unknown cat, squirrel or other animal coming into the yard and not be giving the child its full attention at that moment.

There are four main classifications of assistance dogs:

Guide dogs—These dogs are specifically trained to help the blind or someone who is visually impaired. Guide dogs can help them avoid obstacles, like an open manhole cover or a tree branch hanging in their path. They can also signal changes in elevation. The dogs will sit down or stop in their tracks in front of a curb or some kind of edge to let the owner know there's a step coming. They are also trained to wait at an intersection until it's safe to cross. These smart pups can even find objects on command, like an exit or a doorknob.

Hearing dogs—Hearing dogs are trained to help someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. At home, the dog will wake up his owner when the alarm goes off by nudging him. Or they can lead the person to the front door if the doorbell chimes. These dogs can even bring the phone over to their owner if it should ring. If traveling, they'll warn when a smoke alarm beeps by taking the person to it; or if their owner is asleep, they'll nudge the person awake. If the cell phone or beeper sounds off, the hearing dog will grab it and bring it to their owner to answer.

Service dogs—These talented canines are trained to help someone physically disabled, such as a paraplegic. These dogs can pull the wheelchair by a pull strap or help balance the person by leaning against his/her legs. Switching to a rigid handled harness will allow the person to pull himself up or brace against the handle to lift out of the chair. The service dog can bring in the groceries, fetch the mail or newspaper, dump the trash in the garbage can, turn on the lights, pull off socks without biting any toes, or even call 911 on a K—9 rescue phone by pushing the button with his nose. And that's only a partial list.

Alert/response dogs—Also known as seizure response or alert dogs, these critters are trained to work with people who have epilepsy, some other kind of seizure disorder, diabetes, or a psychological/psychiatric disability. Not only can they call 911, but these dogs can also fetch an insulin kit, a respiratory assistance device, or medication from a designated spot in the house. The medical response dog can also be trained to lie down on the owner's chest to produce a cough so she can breathe easier when the suction machine or caregiver isn't near by.

Therapeutic companion dog—The companionship this type of dog provides can have a therapeutic benefit on the life of anyone with a temporary or less limiting disability as well as the elderly or a special needs child. Often these dogs aren't used out in public and their skill level is fairly limited. They're taught the basic obedience skills (sit, stay, come, down, heel) and proper behavior (no aggression, nuisance barking, biting, or begging) and more. Therapy dogs and their handlers typically are thoroughly trained and screened to ensure their success in therapy programs. These dogs are well—behaved pets that can lift the spirits of someone who's suddenly alone, such as an elderly woman who recently lost her husband of fifty years. While some organizations don't technically consider these dogs service animals, there is no doubt that they can provide emotional support. For more information on therapy dog programs, visit the Delta Society website at www.deltasociety.org.

http://www.healthypet.com/library_view.aspx?ID=17&sid=1

http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/ssd/ssd.php

http://www.adionline.org/

http://www.canineassistants.org/

http://www.caninecompanions.org/

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Cerebral Palsy equipment and accessories including wheelchairs, scooters,
standers, walkers, computers, seating, car seats, braces and dogs.