25 Ways the Americans with Disabilities Act has Changed Lives
This is Jake and his service dog Gust. Jake has classic autism and is a wanderer. Autism, along with other diagnoses like seizure disorders and diabetes, can sometimes be invisible to outside observers. Under the Americans with Disabilities act Jake’s autism service dog is allowed to accompany him to many places that Jake originally couldn’t go or had extreme trouble going to.
Jake seems at first glance to be normal, but may be perceived as a bad child who doesn’t listen. He is an active child and Gust has allowed him to be able to be active, but safe. As an example, Jake and Gust can visit his doctor’s office together. While tethered to Gust, Jake no longer runs in front of traffic, he no longer has constant meltdowns while in waiting rooms, and he relies on his service dog to let him know exactly what the next step will be, without fear that he will become overwhelmed or over stimulated. Jake now patiently waits for his service dog to lead the way.
“As a parent of a special needs child the relief is indescribable. People now see Jake and Gust together and without us having to ask for acceptance or accommodations the public knows that because Jake has his service dog, to give Jake the room he needs to navigate places so he won’t constantly bump into people. Gust has been an amazing help to our family and most importantly to Jake”.
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