Service dog a huge comfort to boy with autism - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Service dog a huge comfort to boy with autism

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PHOENIX -

It would be hard to find a young boy who doesn't want a dog, but in the case of one valley boy, he doesn't just want a furry friend. He needs a service dog to help him in life.

6-year-old Lucas reads to his favorite friend, a golden retriever. It's the only time this young boy with autism is calm.

"He used to not be able to sit down at the table and do homework. When he is sitting down with the dog in his lap, he'll sit for 5, 10, 20 minutes," says mother Gabbi Bryan.

This is a boy who can't sit still, but he will sit if the dog is around him.

This dog isn't a pet. He's a working dog with Arizona Goldens. Brian Daugherty is one of the trainers.

These dogs know 50 different commands, and can make life easier and safer for adults and kids with disabilities like Lucas.

"It interrupts pattern behavior, helps with bolting issues, helps drastically reduce the amount of meltdowns, helps sleep at night and helps them become an independent adult," says Daugherty.

You can see how Lucas calms down around the dog.

A service dog like Lex costs about $22,000. He would be a big help for Lucas. So far the family has raised $2,000, they are hoping to raise more.

Lucas works with a dog like Lex once a week. The family believes the dog will help Lucas more if he could work with him all day, every day. The rest of the family would love to have a dog too.

More information on how to help Lucas and his family: www.servicedogforlucas.com

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