All About Autism Podcast 081: The Positive Effect Animals Can Have on Individuals With Autism


Episode 081

For Episode 081 of the All About Autism Podcast, your hosts Dave and Heather Eaton welcome guest host Chris Larson, the director of training for the Autism Council of Utah, a consultant trainer and Dave’s right-hand man at Eaton Alliance. And our special guest today is Micaela Aussem, the mother of an individual on the autism spectrum who has made a special bond with the family dog, which happens to be a pit bull! Micaela talks about the connection her son has made with this dog and her ongoing struggle to get the school board to allow a pit bull be a service animal for her son.

The All About Autism Podcast is talk radio for those desiring to be familiarized, energized, apprised, advised and empathized with regarding all things Autism. Your husband-and-wife hosts, Dave and Heather Eaton, bring you a weekly show with new releases every single Saturday.

Show Notes:
1.) Introduction
2.) Autism in the News
— Comedy Show Brings Light to Autism
3.) Main segment: The Positive Effect Animals Can Have on Individuals With Autism (featuring special guest Micaela Aussem)
4.) Closing / Credits
5.) “The Autism Anthem” by Dave Eaton

Next week’s episode: Episode 082 will be released next Saturday, March 15, 2014. Don’t miss it!

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You can leave your comments at the bottom of the show notes for this episode, or you can e-mail us at, or you can call and leave us a voice mail at (801) 382-8789.

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The All About Autism Podcast is sponsored by Eaton Alliance.

3 thoughts on “All About Autism Podcast 081: The Positive Effect Animals Can Have on Individuals With Autism

  1. As much as I am an animal lover and I would like to see this kid take a dog to school, a pit bull is totally inappropriate in the capacity. Perhaps his family can get him a different breed?

    Also, you guys make me laugh. Are you all in show business too? You seem very in tune with popular culture. Thnk you for caring about autism. My son is 19 and he is struggling with transition.

  2. Hi Janis…I would like to invite you to meet both my son and Koda. I have more experience than most in dealing with dogs. I personally would not have sought out a Pitbull for my son. We rescued him and within 3 days the bond was forged and for the first time he was happy to come home after school.

    Also….if you think for a minute (honest…not argumentative) you judged a dog by breed alone….it is no different than someone judging one of our children based on media and stories that are not complete.

    For a service animal the breed is the least of concerns….you have to have the personality to start. In my county the top biter is the golden lab….however its not news worthy. For instance just because I have a golden retriever does not mean it won’t bite…but many are lulled into false pretenses because all we are told is the good. We need honest and well rounded information and we need to take the initiative to learn for ourselves before we judge…..rarely will we ever know the full story. Anything and everything that has a heartbeat and a soul is complex and cannot and should not be pigeonholed. When we look thru our souls and not our eyes we will all have a better and truer understanding….

    My offer is open to anyone who would like to see Koda.

    Janis…before I forget, did you listen to my entirewhatever

  3. Sorry Janis…my phone wouldn’t let me fix the last part. What I wanted to ask is if you listened to the entire podcast and how I intended to proceed. I want to educate and advocate even tho it would be easier to play the ADA card. I want people to see the why and understand the impact but I am also aware that my son’s right doesn’t trump anyone else’s… We have to find common ground and I think its possible if we adopt a non-adversarial stance. When have we ever truly learned when we’re busy screaming…we can’t hear over the screams and the only thing we accomplish is more space and resentment….we can and should do better. :)

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