Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland is a national charity providing highly trained assistance dogs for children with autism and their families.
Our dogs are specially trained to provide safety, independence and companionship to children who would otherwise live in a very isolated world. These dogs help to transform the lives of children and their families.
Having an assistance dog allows the families to be able to go out again and take their child to places that they had stopped going to. The dog also helps them to be able to partake in simple everyday activities that the rest of us take for granted. A simple trip to the local shop can be a very stressful task for a child with autism.
The assistance dog helps, as the child is attached to the dog via a belt which is then linked to the dogs jacket ensuring the child is always safe and the parent then takes control of the dog by the lead.
It takes up to 2 years to train each dog, initially the pup is placed with a Puppy Foster Carer who are all volunteers and brings up the pup for the first 12 months ensuring it is well socialised in order for it to become a suitable assistance dog.
The dog then enters its training which takes a further 3 months at which time it is matched to a suitable child and family who will have already been assessed and accepted for an assistance dog. All dogs have access to shops, restaurants etc and wear a red jacket with a logo to identify them as an assistance dog.
The family go through an intensive training to ensure they are confident before taking the dog home and this is then followed up by aftercare visits to the home.