Our main goal is to help improve the lives of families and children living with autism with the use of a service dog. We also have the goal to educate the public on the benefits of service dogs for children with autism and do that through social media.
We train services dogs for children with autism. See our "Fee" page for details for details on our regular training program.
A Macy's Autism Pals Service Dog can help a child with autism in so many ways:
Increase Safety: Many children with autism have no concept of danger and run away. Our dogs can be tethered to your child and trained to take commands from you. The tether prevents your child from going any further than it allows and provides you with an added sense of security.
Increase Socialization: Having the safety and stability of a service dog can allow you as a family to get out of the house and participate in new experiences on a more regular basis. When individuals see your child with their service dog, often they may engage your child, which encourages them child to talk about their dog. Parents have often observed an increase in communication skills, sometimes soon after meeting their dog. You may choose to not allow people to engage with the service dog due to safety reasons by using a “do not pet” patch on the service vest allowing you more control of the environment in public helping the dog to stay focused on his job.
Provide Stability: Children with autism often have a difficult time transitioning to new environments and may experience sensory overload. The service dog remains a constant in their life and provides stability. Having a “constant” companion allows you child to focus on the service dog as opposed to the new environment. This assists your child in dealing with a new situation or change in routine. Service dogs can be used to help obtain better sleep patterns for children and parents by having the dog sleep with your child in their room.
Reduce Outbursts: Our Autism Service dogs help disrupt behaviors by making contact with your child by touch or by laying on their lap. With screaming or other outbursts, the dog may act as a tactile distraction to redirect the child to a more positive behavior. Some dogs will learn this behavior over time or can be trained to proactively perform a “snuggle”.