I have had experience with kids who are on the Autism Spectrum and I am seeing that Lucy fits on the Autism Spectrum too. I know this sounds silly but I am going to prove that Lucy fits on the spectrum.
"Often, you will see one or more overlapping disorders, including seizures, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, immune dysfunction, hyperactivity, obsessive behaviors, anxiety, mood regulation, and depression. None of these on their own would indicate a presence of an autism spectrum disorder, however, many children with ASD will have one or more of these co-morbid symptoms." (https://www.firstsigns.org/delays_disorders/asd.htm) From this Lucy fits with these disorders, she is hyperactive, has anxiety and obsessive behavior. She is hyperactive, which anyone who has met Lucy knows she is extremely hyper. She has already been diagnosed with separation anxiety. Obsessive behavior probably is new to most, but it is true. She will get in moods where all she can do is lick, lick, and lick. Which yes I know dogs do all the time but her licking is obsessive she does not stop even when you tell her to stop. She will also just walk around a room licking the floor like crazy. There are also times when she has to suck on something especially your hand.
Some other evidence she has Autism:
"Many people with an ASD have unusual interest or behaviors.
Examples of unusual interests and behaviors related to ASDs:
- Lines up toys or other objects
- Plays with toys the same way every time
- Likes parts of objects (e.g., wheels)
- Is very organized
- Gets upset by minor changes
- Has obsessive interests
- Has to follow certain routines
- Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles"
"People with an ASD often thrive on routine. A change in the normal pattern of the day—like a stop on the way home from school—can be very upsetting to people with an ASD. They might “lose control” and have a “melt down” or tantrum, especially if in a strange place.
Some people with an ASD also may develop routines that might seem unusual or unnecessary. For example, a person might try to look in every window he or she walks by a building or might always want to watch a video from beginning to end, including the previews and the credits. Not being allowed to do these types of routines might cause severe frustration and tantrums." (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html)
For routines Lucy knows her routine every morning and will demonstrate what we are to do next. So many times after she comes in from outside she immediately runs upstairs and shows me that I need to go into the bathroom. When I leave the bedroom she runs straight downstairs to where we keep her laser. She does not like it if we skip playing laser.
Another common feature of Autism is being really smart in one area. It is usually the logical side of the brain. Lucy is also very smart, in ways I don't think most dogs are. She can pick up toys and look for toys that I tell her to get. She is very quick at solving puzzles. Another thing with this is that she focuses on one thing, which is common with Autism. She has a hard time getting things out of her head, such as if she thinks she is going to play Frisbee with you she will continually grab her frisbee and run at you with it, no matter how many times you tell her you are not going to play with her.
Overall I do believe Lucy is Autistic. One night at work Terry brought Lucy to school with him to help me. I walked her down to my friend's room who was also working late and who teaches adjustment. I asked her if Lucy was Autistic, and she rambled off different symptoms, many that I just discussed. I answered yes to every symptom she rambled off. I know many people will think I'm crazy saying my dog is Autistic but I do believe she is from her actions. Many people have told me after hearing stories about Lucy that I should find a different home for her, and my response is that she is my child. If I had a child with special needs I would never give her up, so why should I give up Lucy who is my child even though she is a dog.