Danielle Jacobs, who is on the autism spectrum, shared a deeply personal video showing her service dog, Samson, stopping her from self harm to raise awareness about her experience on the spectrum.
In the clip, Jacobs is seen hitting herself, and she writes below the video "This is what's considered a meltdown." Then, Samson jumps up, using his paws to pull Jacobs' hands down and stop the behavior.
Jacobs posted the video, saying "This is what having aspergers is like. Please no negative comments this really happened and it's not easy to open myself and share what it's like on a daily basis."
The video now has over 900,000 views on YouTube, with largely positive and encouraging comments for Jacobs.
"I have a mild level of Asperger's Syndrome, and I am moved by your bravery for being so open sharing yourself in extreme stress and depression. Very admirable," one commenter wrote.
"It is heart breaking to watch someone go through something like this, but it comforts me to know that you have an incredible companion to help you through it," wrote another.
Autism Speaks created a Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit to provide you with strategies and resources to address behaviors that are quite challenging, and to help support you and your loved one with autism during these difficult situations. Download the free tool kit here.
You can find service dog organizations state-by-state in our online Resource Guide. You can also use this guide to find many other services, therapy providers, support groups, school information, local autism organizations, and much more.
Other Service Dog Organizations
- North Star Dogs: http://www.northstardogs.com/autism.shtml
- Blessings Unleashed: http://blessingsunleashed.org/
- 4 Paws for Ability: www.4pawsforability.org
- Guiding Eyes for the Blind – Heeling Autism: http://guidingeyesfortheblind.org/prospective-students/children-with-autism/ (Ask for Caroline Sandler in the Heeling Autism program)
- Custom Canines: http://www.customcanines.org/services/autism-service-dogs
- Canine Companions for Independence: http://caninecompanions.org
In addition, you can search these directories of service dog trainers to see if you can find one to work with your dog: