Assistance Dogs

An assistance dog is suitable for children with autism from the age of approximately 5 years to 12 years. We review our criteria annually including our age criteria. Our criteria is in place to ensure the highest possible success rate and benefit of each placement. 

Statement of Values

These highly skilled dogs are more than a friend. They are trained to keep their child companion safe. Attached via a belt to the child, these dogs listen and respond to the commands of the parent/handler. The dogs primary focus is to prevent the child from running into danger when they are out and about.

An assistance dog is not a pet but a service dog that is trained to provide safety and to support the child with autism to overcome the distressing elements of their disability and to live the life that they deserve.

As the partnership between the child and assistance dog develops our research shows that these special dogs:

  • Reduce anxiety and stress not just for the child but for the whole family
  • Support the child in learning coping mechanisms that last a lifetime 
  • Improves communication skills
  • Increases confidence
  • Eases sleeping problems

Every family’s story is different.

Every child with autism is different.

Every Autism Assistance Dog changes the world for a child with autism. 

All children with autism and their families are assessed for suitability and given special training to ensure that the partnership with an autism assistance dog is a success and has a positive lasting impact for everyone.

Assistance dogs are trained from 8 weeks of age and it can take up to 2 years for them to reach the high standard required. Read more about the training of assistance dogs here.

Our waiting list for assistance dogs has opened and closed for 2022. However, it is our intention to open our Waiting List on an annual basis, and next year we will be opening our list in the summertime and will update this page 1 month ahead of the list opening with further information. All those who join our mailing list will also be notified regarding next year's application process, via email, a few weeks beforehand.

Therefore, if you wish to sign up to our mailing list please click HERE and complete the sign up form with your name and email address to ensure you receive news/updates in this regard.

Please note we do not pass your contact information on to third parties and will only use it to contact you directly about information and news on Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

You can help change the world for a child with autism today