There are moments, where your instincts and conscious side clash. Meltdowns are one of those moments, your instincts are in flight or fight, however much the part of your mind you control wants to feel safe and for it to stop. It’s really difficult (if not impossible) to get physical contact in that moment.
Autism support dogs are a great idea because they can come and sit by you when you have a meltdown. It can give you the kind of physical contact you can really need but find hard to get with people during, and even after a meltdown.
I don’t have a support dog but I do really understand why they are so important. We dogsit for my wife’s friend occasionally. The last time Max was here I had a meltdown. He ran to me and lay down at my feet. He followed me into the bathroom and lay pressed against me when I went to bed. In fact, he didn’t leave my side until I had started to calm down and settle again. It was amazing because I can’t do that with people. Physical contact like a hug even from my wife or daughter is so hard and often really uncomfortable after a meltdown. So to get that physical closeness at my worse moment from Max was really reassuring.
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All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva