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Future service dogs positively influence kids with autism

Everybody benefits from spending time with dogs! This new Georgia program allows service dogs in training to get socialized by kids with autism, while giving these youngsters a chance to be positively influenced by a dog.

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“It’s just amazing,” said Elizabeth Dulin, co-founder and head of the Lionheart School, which serves students with autism in Alpharetta, Georgia. “When our kids interact with the dogs, we see reduced anxiety levels. ... They become calm and focused.”

One 11-year-old student named Max can quickly identify all seven of the puppies romping around the school. How can he name them so effortlessly when they look so similar? That’s easy.

“Because I love them,” Max told WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

And the impact of the dogs on the children doesn't end there.

Sarah Rosenbaum, director of the LionPaws Puppy Development Center said she’s seen non-verbal children become chatty around the puppies, and she’s seen children with motor-skill deficits get up and run to see the puppies.

Learn more about the Lionheart School's new partnership with the paws4people foundation, which trains service dogs for war veterans, disabled kids and adults.

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