"When Nana joined our family, it was like winning the lotto! Before AADI gave us Nana, Thomas was hard to manage when we were out and about. He had no understanding of danger and would bolt on us. He had meltdowns in shops that would attract awkward looks, which is understandable as autism is not a visible disability. From the first time that Thomas was attached with Nana, he skipped beside her. All of a sudden we all looked forward to going out and about in our community with Thomas. The awkward looks from previous years turned into positive looks and strangers coming over to talk to us. This brought on Thomas's confidence and language greatly. We don't know how we would have managed the past few years without Nana. We can now be like a normal family". Grainne McGrath, Thomas' Mum.
Who Are We?
We are a national charity focused on transforming the lives of children with autism and their families, by training and providing highly skilled 'task specific' assistance dogs to children with autism, who are struggling with the sometimes distressing elements of this invisible disability.
1 in 65 children in Ireland has Autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is identified by the World Health Organisation as a group of complex brain development disorders. It is characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication and a restricted and repetitive repertoire of interests and activities.
Autism is a life long disability that can cause debilitating anxiety, isolation, loneliness and sensory overload.
We in Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland want to make life better for these wonderful children through giving them the gift of an assistance dog to support them in reaching their potential, in having a good childhood, in being accepted and respected for who they are.
Our autism assistance dogs are highly trained to provide safety and companionship, reduce anxiety and suffering, promote independence, and improve coping mechanisms of children with autism who are struggling with their disability.
Our autism assistance dogs give life to children with autism and life to their families
Our waiting list is currently closed, with over 250 children with autism on this list and urgently in need of the life changing support of an assitance dog. We are determined to raise more funds so that we can reopen the waiting list and give more wonderful children with autism and their families the good news that their lives will get better with the gift of one of our assistance dogs.
If you would like to change the life of a child with autism and their family, through donating or supporting our fundraising events, please contact us on (022) 43851 and we will support you in making a lasting impact in the lives of these amazing children
What We Do
These dogs are working dogs and wear a jacket to identify them and have full access to public places.
These dogs act as a companion to the child in the home environment helping to give them a sense of responsibility.
A puppy foster carer role involves a 12 to 15 month commitment and is a very important and rewarding role in the life of the dog.