Assistance Dogs for Autism

Assistance dogs can be massively beneficial to an individual with autism and are a lifeline to those they support. Several organisations can help people who are interested in finding out more, some that provide the dog, others that will support you in training your dog to become an assistance animal.

Assistance Dogs Organisations

Pawsitive Squad CIC

Pawsitive Squad CIC is a non-profit organisation which provides assistance dog training for young people under 25 with any additional needs. We also train therapy dogs to work within any organisation which support children or young people with additional needs, canine-assisted activity programs and paws in tents camping holidays. While we can train your dog to assist with any and multiple disabilities, we are highly experienced with training dogs as autism assistance dogs for under 25’s.

Tasks we can train dogs to assist with include;

- Deep pressure therapy - which helps to calm and decrease the severity of sensory overload/meltdown
- Finding the young person if they bolt, wander or hide
- Alert to early signs of anxiety or overload to allow quick intervention to prevent escalation
- Alert to early signs of anxiety or overload to allow quick intervention to prevent escalation
- Refuse to cross the road if a car is coming
-Guide the young person to the nearest exit

For assistance dog training, we offer two routes of training and assessment.

On-line Training

We have recurring online classes via a conference call app, which allows you to watch demonstrations & listen to instruction in real-time then practice in the comfort of your own home. We advise you via the live video feed of what you should be doing, any corrections and how to progress to the next steps. For customers who undertake virtual training & assessment, you do need to have a face-to-face public access assessment. Which takes a minimum of 15 hours (usually spread over 3-4 sessions) to ensure your dog is at the required level of public access training to become a fully-fledged assistance dog, then yearly face-to-face assessments are required for reaccreditation.

In-Person Training

Our weekly face-to-face training classes in Nottinghamshire. For assistance dog partnerships who train face-to-face, we incorporate the assessments into classes. For our virtual assessments, you film the list of required exercises to pass our 4 levels, foundation right through to gold level.

We also offer a canine-assisted activity program both virtually and face to face. Our canine activities sessions are split into multiple types of sessions, including sessions purely aimed at building confidence, bonding with their dog and interacting with others. Our skill-specific sessions are targeted at promoting specific skills for the young person such as communication.

Dogs for Good

This organisation offers an autism assistance dog for children service that gives the parent and child real independence.

Supplying a dog that is carefully matched following training, that has unlimited access to public places enables the whole family to do simple things such as shopping, which may have been impossible before.
A special harness is worn by the dog, which connects it to both parent and child, and encourages the child to walk alongside reducing behaviours such as bolting and anxiety. 

A fully-trained autism assistance dog can support with:

- Introducing routines
- Reducing bolting behaviour
- Interrupting repetitive behaviour
- Helping a child with autism cope with unfamiliar surroundings

Your child must be between the ages of 3-10 to apply to the programme, and applications are only open for a limited time in each area.

Other organisations

Support Dogs

This organisation will train family pet dogs however they are based in Sheffield and do not have a virtual programme so would be difficult to access from Northamptonshire.

Support Dogs Website

Dog Aid

Dog Aid train people’s own pet dogs specifically for their individual needs however, only supports physical disabilities and not autism.

Dog Aid Website

Canine Partners

This organisation only provides assistance dogs for individuals with a physical disability.

Canine Partners Website

Dogs for Autism

Dogs for Autism provides dogs to both children and adults and is the UK's first charity exclusively providing Autism Assistance dogs.

Dogs for Autism Website

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Disclaimer: En-Fold does not endorse treatments, interventions and therapies but lists them so people can make informed choice. This site is for information purposes only and is a starting point for readers to look into options that may fit or resonate. Remember, therapies for autism, like any condition, should be discussed with a trusted medical practitioner or certified therapist before use. All information, data and material contained, presented or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of En-Fold, or as providing legal or medical advice. All treatment decisions should be made by the individual in consultation with a health care provider. Case studies provided are done so in good faith, and based on the personal experience of the individual submitting them. En-Fold are in no way endorsing the establishments that are mentioned but offering peer reviews to inform readers.