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.
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;
For assistance dog training, we offer two routes of training and assessment.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 train people’s own pet dogs specifically for their individual needs however, only supports physical disabilities and not autism.Dog Aid Website
This organisation only provides assistance dogs for individuals with a physical disability.Canine Partners Website
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