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The Golden Bridge

A Guide to Assistance Dogs for Children Challenged by Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities

Patty Dobbs Gross

251 pages
Purdue University Press
In The Golden Bridge, Patty Dobbs Gross explains how specially bred and trained dogs facilitate communication for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. This important work is a guide for parents, teachers, and therapists alike, and is written for all those who are dealing with the social, emotional, and educational issues related to raising children with such cognitive challenges. The Golden Bridge explores unique and complex issues inherent in living with autism, training an assistance dog to work with a child with autism or a developmental disability, and using an assistance dog to deal with a child's grief. Myths and labels about autism are explored, examined, and carefully redefined. While focusing on children with autism in The Golden Bridge, Dobbs Gross shares key insights applicable to anyone breeding, raising, training, and working with dogs to mitigate any type of disability at any age. This impressive volume also contains a list of resources for follow-up information, a section on books about autism, and a directory of assistance dog providers.
Author Bio
Patty Dobbs Gross is a professional service animal consultant and executive director of North Star Foundation, a registered nonprofit that places high-quality assistance dogs with special-needs children at an affordable price. Dobbs Gross holds a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts and an MA in writing from the University of New Hampshire. Both a published author (Dancing in the Rain) as well as an award-winning television producer ("Northern Lights" and "Raising Your North Star"), Dobbs Gross’ research focuses on canine behavioral genetics, animal-assisted therapy, and autism in children. She resides in Storrs, Connecticut.