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autism ones and included the public not understanding that assistance dogs are working dogs which shouldn’t be patted when their jacket is on. In terms of cost benefit, Dr Howell said more data was required “before we can say for sure whether or not At right: Tiffani Howell (right) at the launch of a program to train assistance dogs for veterans diagnosed with PTSD. Opposite: Tiffani with her old dog Silver. they are great value for money”. “There was little existing literature, of care they received before they got will benefit from having more robust though we did have a lot of people the dog, so we need more data to data out of this new project. say the dog allowed them to drive quantify this.” again so they could work, or children While the 2016 La Trobe report “Assistance dogs are living animals, they are not machines, who were not going to school could concluded there was no robust and we shouldn’t expect suddenly go to school,” she said. evidence attesting to value for perfection,” she said. “I think the long-term economic money of assistance animals, Dr “But when it’s done right and benefit based on the consultations we Howell is now involved in work for the dogs are trained well and they had with people are probably quite the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, are placed with the right people, the profound and real, but we haven’t training 20 assistance dogs for benefits appear to be profound, that’s been able to quantify that, because veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress the bottom line.” we don’t know for example what sort Disorder. She believes the whole field www.latrobe.edu.au LIVE YOUR WAY • Employ your own staff • Support Coordination • Occupational Therapy Plus More... WE CAN HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS 02 8525 4000 | www.livingmyway.org.au Over 26 Years’ Experience | Not-for-profit | NDIS Registered linkonline.com.au autism 29