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© 2017 by Lisa Mihalich Quinn | Reach Every Voice | Maryland

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Take Me and My Letterboard Out to the Ballgame

August 2, 2019

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More than a Guide Dog

October 10, 2018

 

Nadia's back with more writing! Writing an effective argument can be tricky, but after studying the three concepts of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, Nadia was ready to tackle a big issue: a service dog! I asked Nadia who was her intended audience, and she told me it was her parents and "anyone who reads." There it is! You're obligated to share. We think you'll be pretty hard pressed to say no to this argument...

 

          Might I take a moment of your time? I have a milkbone to pick. What’s cute, deeply devoted to loved ones, and likes big sofas to snooze on? You might have guessed I’m talking about myself, and while you wouldn’t be wrong, I’m really talking about an autism service dog. Try not to jump to rapidly saying no. Let me take you on a walk through why my life needs a dog.

 

          Experts agree that service dogs can help families with an autistic child. According to the Global Autism Project, trained service dogs can ease sensory overload. Researchers at the National Institute of Health conducted a study about perceived impact of a service dog in families with an autistic child. The study compared perceptions of families with service dogs and families waiting to get one. The results are clear: service dogs don’t just benefit the blind.

 

          A total of 134 parents or guardians with an assistance dog (65% response) and 87 parents or guardians from the waiting list (81% response) completed the questionnaire. Parents evaluated improvements in safety and how people interact with their child. The study showed significantly higher scores among parents of children with a dog than those on the waiting list in regard to reduced environmental hazards and increased public awareness and perception.

 

          While service dogs can be expensive, most organizations provide help with fundraising. A $20,000 price tag may seem outrageous, but all dogs require special trainers, an environment to acquire skills, and lots of time to learn. The other roadblock parents commonly list is the workload of caring for the dog. The same study showed parents anticipated that taking care of the dog would be more of a strain than it actually was. More importantly, it is pretty crucial to help the child develop a sense of purpose by having them care for the dog.

 

          Ask yourself when was the last time a kid who doesn’t talk spent two months researching and writing a persuasive argument. Believe me when I say I would only ever put that much effort into something I care intensely about. Personally I am also delighted that a dog would not only help to decrease my anxiety but would lessen your concerns about my safety. Wouldn't you love if our amazing family could expand to include one more member to love? If I haven’t convinced you that a dog is a good idea, perhaps I’ll argue for a sibling!

 

Nadia asks the world to presume competence of all nonspeaking autistics and to use respectful language when you talk about people who type instead of speak.