Today marks the start of World Autism Awareness Week which runs until 2nd April 2018. Over the course of this week, Dogs for Good is celebrating a truly amazing achievement; helping over 1000 families with a child with autism spectrum condition, through its Family Dog workshops.
Launched in 2010, the workshops were developed to help share the charity’s extensive knowledge and expertise of training dogs to help families with a child with an autism diagnosis.
The workshops provide training and guidance to parents, giving them the information and confidence they need to successfully source, select, handle and train a pet dog specifically to respond to the needs of a child with autism, and thereby enabling the whole family to benefit from the unique support a well-trained dog can bring.
Autism affects some 700,000 people in the UK and, if you add other family members into the equation, the condition touches the lives of an estimated 2.8 million people.
Research has shown that the families Dogs for Good have worked with have seen lowered parental stress, go out more together, and children on the autism spectrum experience fewer meltdowns as a result of their pet dog. Read more about the research project findings.
Sally is mum to Damien and says: “During the three workshops, I learned so much; more than I’d ever thought possible, really. Everything the training team said made perfect sense and I came away from the first workshop really excited and with far more knowledge about how a dog can benefit a child with autism as well as the wider family.
“We worked with the workshop demonstration dogs, Fidget and Siren to try out our training learnings and on the second or third session, a Dogs for Good client brought in her assistance dog so we could see exactly what benefit her dog was to her. It was an invaluable experience.” Read Sally’s story.
Workshops are now open for parents/carers to book a place. View workshop dates and locations.