NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED549941
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 246
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-1202-0
The Impact of Canine Assistance for Children with Autism and the Family Unit
Wild, Diana L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty with attention, impulsiveness, and safety issues; consequently, special measures must be taken to secure their safety. One such measure is canine intervention, which provides children with highly trained service dogs that can respond to their autism behaviors. Social support theory provided the theoretical foundation for this study. The purpose of this concurrent, mixed-methods study was to determine whether a service dog, trained for children with autism, could (a) increase safety, (b) increase social reciprocity, (c) increase adaptive behaviors, and (d) reduce parental stress. The study used a between-group design with a convenience sample of 20 parents assigned to the intervention and control groups. The quasi-experimental, quantitative data were collected via pretest and posttest scores on two standardized assessment tests: the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (ABAS) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). The qualitative data on child safety and parental stress were collected using open-ended surveys. Inductive coding was used. Data analysis consisted of Pearson correlations among composite scores and one 2 x 2 repeated-measures ANOVA. Results revealed that (a) the intervention group's pre-post gains were significantly more in social reciprocity than that of the control group, F (1, 18) = 6.84, p = 0.017; (b) the child's "lack of fear of danger," which resulted in bolting and other unsafe outcomes, was the foremost concern of all parents, but that once the child was tethered to the service dog, this behavior was resolved and reduced parental stress. The implication for positive social change is that canine intervention can promote safety for children with autism. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A