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  • Chris McMillan

Dogs trained as companions for children with autism

China Daily

26th December 2023

Dogs trained as companions for children with autism

After a year of rigorous training, a graduation ceremony was held in Shanghai on Saturday for a trio of Labrador retrievers that have qualified to accompany children with autism.

The black canines have acquired 30 skills that can enable them to assist children with special needs.

Families with autistic children aged between 3 and 12 can apply to have one of the pooches as a pet for free to help their children with safety, emotional and social networking support.

"We're receiving phone calls from families showing interest in taking the retrievers home. We'll try to find the most suitable matches between the families and the dogs," said Ren Jing, who is in charge of the dog training program at the Sichuan Science and Technology Poverty Alleviation Foundation.

"Children with some typical symptoms of autism, such as sleeping disorders and emotional instability, can benefit the most from such autism assistance dogs," she said.

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