A woman suffering from Asperger’s syndrome has shared a video of herself being helped by her service dog as she is having a violent “meltdown”.
Danielle Jacobs, from Arizona, uploaded the clip of the intense depressive episode on her YouTube channel two weeks ago, hoping to raise awareness for what it is like to live with the disorder.
The video shows Danielle’s service dog Samson, who is trained to prevent her from harming herself, using his paws to stop the woman from hitting herself.
She wrote in the video’s description:
This is what having Asperger’s is like. Please no negative comments this really happened and it’s not easy to open myself and share what it’s like on a daily basis.
The clip begins with Danielle standing up and crying, as she beats her chest with her fist. Her dog promptly jumps up and uses his paws to pull her arms down.
The woman continues to cry and is soon hitting her head with her hands. Samson then jumps up and he pushes her hands away.
When the woman finally slumps to the floor, the dog lies next to her and licks her face. Danielle explains:
This is what’s considered a meltdown. Yes, Samson is alerting. I trained him to alert to depressive episodes [or] self harm [but] not both, but [still] he alerted.
It appears the response is late, but it’s actually supposed to be as I’m coming out of the meltdown as I tend to have a panic attack after.
Danielle has posted a number of videos about her experiences with Asperger’s, including one in which she is devastated for not getting support in her quest for a college education.
However, it is this latest video which has gone viral, having been viewed close to a million times since it was uploaded on June 1.
Many commenters are praising Danielle for sharing such a private moment. One viewer wrote:
As an older brother to a 13-year-old boy with autism, this is truly heart-warming and powerful. Thanks for sharing.
EDIT: I didn’t realize that YOU are the one who uploaded this video! Very courageous of you to do so. You are very lucky to be so intelligent and highly-functional with ASD. Best of luck to you in life!
Another viewer, whose son has autism, wrote:
It is very brave of you to share your most fragile moments with the world. My son has Autism and his meltdowns are also heartbreaking to watch.
Many, many people who have heard about meltdowns but, have never actually seen one, will finally understand how traumatic they can be. Thank you!
Also, this is another example of how our pets are emotionally connected to us much more than we may realize. Your dog is awesome.
Many other commenters wrote about how great it is that Danielle has such a wonderful dog to help her in times of need.
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