Launched in 2005 our Assistance Dog Programme was the first of its kind in Europe.
An Assistance Dog is the same breed, age and temperament as a Guide Dog and is trained especially to work with a child with autism and his or her family. Assistance Dogs help to control and improve the behaviour of the child by promoting calmness and acting as a safety aid to the parent. Outings to public places become less stressful and families enjoy greater freedom and mobility.
The Assistance Dog acts as a constant companion and in some cases, enhances the child’s social skills and interaction with their family and peers.
Families on the Assistance Dogs Programme have reported the following outcomes for their child:
- Greater aptitude towards learning
- Improved participation in social activities
- Improved communications skills
- A greater sense of responsibility
- Improved confidence and independence
Parents attend our National Headquarters and Training Centre in Cork for a week long training course, followed by an aftercare programme once they have returned home.
Regrettably, we are not taking any new applications at present due to an extensive waiting list.