When a service dog responds to self-harm

Hello everyone! I thought I'd share this moving video of Danielle Jacobs, a lady with Aspergers. I think that this is a fantastic example of how service animals are invaluable in certain situations.

Dog keeps me calm

I have bipolar and my dog really helps get me through the day. She keeps me calm, gets me out of the house every day for walks and gives me cuddles when I'm upset. Since getting a dog I've had no more nights in hospital.

Dealing with loss

Our cat Ronnie taught Freya (who can become frustrated and anxious if a regular routine is broken) an important lesson when he passed away suddenly last year. The hard lesson to learn was that change is unpredictable and our loved ones will eventually pass away.

Autism Assistance Dogs

Dogs for the Disabled provides specially-trained autism assistance dogs for children aged 3-10 years. 

Building self-confidence

I take my dog once a month to visit a young blind teenager with learning disabilities. She is quite frightened of dogs, and every time we visit, it takes her about an hour to pat him, but then she loves it. She really enjoys the interaction and sensory play.

A furry friend

My son has profound learning disabilities and is unable to make friends, but he does have a friendship with our dog. My son cannot play by himself but he will sit and play with our dog for ages. She is such great entertainment for him.

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

We found Kathy Hoopmann's book All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome a light-hearted and non-threatening way of explaining things simply. Hoopmann has done a series of books - I know there's also All Dogs have ADHD.

Fishy entertainment

Fish tanks can be really calming for people with sensory processing disorders. My daughter has a 5 gallon tank in her bedroom, that not only calms her down, but helps her sleep better at night by providing white noise.

Pets As Therapy

Pets As Therapy are marvellous and it's a great alternative if you are unable to have your own pet. They will visit (all over the UK) with cats or dogs, and the pleasure they give is immeasurable. I highly recommend them.

Not just a family pet

Freya has Aspergers and ever since she was little she has liked cats. Like an autism service dog, our cat is not just a family pet, but an important learning tool, sensory guide and companion. We've watched Freya grow and develop by gaining confidence with a cat at her side.

Share your tips and feedback

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Using these tips

These tips have been contributed by members of our online community. We hope they will give you some ideas to try, but if you need further help why not post a question to the community or talk to one of our community advisors. If you have any concerns about your health or the wellbeing of someone you are caring for, please consult a doctor or qualified professional.