Service dog for toddler advice?

My son is 4 years old and on the autism spectrum. Very close to high functioning.

Some things about him-

Speech delay, developmental delay, insomnia, self injuries, runner, very bad temper, and Mild anxiety.

I think a service dog would be perfect for him. But where do I even start with the process? Neurologist? Occupational therapist? Pediatric? I’m so clueless about this whole situation. Thanks for any help!


Also, can a service dog and emotional support dog be under the same roof?

My daughter is 12 and has anxiety and major depressive disorder and mixed receptive disorder and I think an emotional support animal would be perfect for her. Thank you!

Update 2:

Since it’s everyone’s business.

My 12 year old sister has been thru A LOT. I have gotten with her therapist and Psychiatrist and she has completely turned around.I see the depression in some days and complete happiness in others.Severe depression runs in my family. I also take care of my brother when he goes into his depression which is much worse.I think a dog would be great for her. If you have no advice on my question then don’t even comment.

3 Answers

  • Nathan
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Please note that he would have to be able to look after the service dog himself. This dog would be with him at all times, though the adults must be the sole carer, so you MUST be able to confidently say that he will not hit/harm this dog in any way. If he does, you are allowing it to be abused which you can be criminally charged for.

    You would have to contact your local authorities or look for guide dogs in your area online

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    • Laurie
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Just because someone will sell you something doesn’t mean you should buy it. There is something wrong with you. I feel sorry for your kids. 

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  • 1 month ago

    (story of 5 year old who has a SD)

    different agencies have different regs, some will start with pre schools, some not till middle school

    4 is preschool, not toddler--toddler is about 12 months to 36 months, 3 starts preschool age

    save $25,000 for the training (may be more).  have $25,000 available for major vet bills..try to add to that as the dog ages.  have $1000/year for routine vet care available (minor illness, heartworm, flea treatment, vaccines, etc)....get insurance, its about $40/month...different plans cover different things, but may cover a large portion of major vet expenses

    identify the services (intervene in self injury/running--but if he hurts the dog instead of injuring himself, that won't work out...)

    any doctor that sees him for autism related symptoms could recommend a service dog.

    it takes a couple years to get a fully trained dog.

    I have to look up SD in training regs re housing again....I don't think they are covered by FHA....but the dog usually stays with the trainer until its ready

    are you saying you live in no pets housing?  under US federal law, FHA, most landlords and HOAs must allow any appropriate number of support animals per household....unless it gets to the point they are a nuisance.  be sure to get the ESA behavior trained.

    and what gave you  the idea that spanking a 12 year old is acceptable?  you need parenting classes and she needs to be in therapy.  If she not in therapy, its hard to make a case for an ESA....sounds like you need family therapy also.

    you already said she didn't take care of a pet..SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE AN ESA.

    your home is dysfunctional, you need to get your acts together before bringing animals in.

    it sounds like you don't have permanent custody of the 12 year old...what happens if she leaves your home?  would she be able to take the ESA with her?  it will no longer be allowed in no pets housing...and you need to have the 25K for any major vet bills....

    she needs a positive behavior support system....a poster listing her responsibilities and what she earns for meeting those responsibilities.

    figure out her portion of the phone bill....have her earn token dollars to cover it, if she doesn't she doesn't have a phone until she earns it.  have her pay in daily installments at 1st, if that works out, consider weekly.

    find other things she can earn by showering, laying in bed/trying to sleep, eating at least half a meal, doing school work.

    have a written visual schedule for her, let her help you plan it out (ie when do you want TV time, when should we set aside time for school work, etc).

    find a new therapist.

    have you considered a school program?  she may be eligible for special education (in the US) and a therapeutic school for students with emotional illness.

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    • Shana Amos1 month agoReport

      Keep her grades up. I took everyone’s advice and just stuck to it and after two weeks, she is respectful, grades are back up to As and Bs, and the beardie stays out of the cage for most of the day (until he gets cold). Maybe later in she can earn everything back but we’ll see. Thank you!

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  • Laurie
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If a service dog is appropriate for him, his medical provider will suggest it — WHEN he is old enough... which is not at 4 yrs old. Try again when he is 7 or 8.

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    • Shana Amos1 month agoReport

      I have found three companies that give dogs to 4 year olds. Stupid ***. If you can’t answer the question then don’t comment. Plain and simple.

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