… autism meant your child only ever felt safe at home.
Our autism assistance dogs give families freedom and confidence to go out.
While we are all now discovering the reality of social isolation, imagine if not being able to go for days out, visit family and friends, or go to the shops was your permanent reality. For many families with a child with autism, social isolation isn’t something that they have experienced for a few weeks or even months, but instead is their reality every day.
For six year-old Emily, autism means that wearing clothes or shoes feels overwhelming. And because of this, going outside is a challenge. The family ended up, as many families with autistic children do, doing things separately.
“It’s the simple things that you miss,” admits Steven. “Reading social media posts from friends who have been doing fun stuff all together as a family; meals out, shopping, holidays etc. Emily’s autism meant those things were almost entirely closed off to us.”
Oslo provides motivation and distraction for Emily and that means that she will now even tolerate wearing slip-on shoes and putting on a coat because she knows that it means going for a walk with Oslo. “Emily holds onto Oslo’s harness and we go for a walk to the local shops to get an ice cream. She’s really happy being with Oslo and has even sat down to give him a cuddle. For a non-cuddly child, that’s a big thing!”
Best of all, Oslo’s specialist training has enabled the family to go on outings and on holiday together. “We recently went to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham which was lots of fun and we all had a great time. We also went to Hunstanton beach and on the way back, stopped off for a coffee and a break at the services. Simple things but things we’d never have been able to do before Oslo came into our lives.”
How our autism assistance dogs help
Autism Assistance dog Oslo helps Dad Steve to keep Emily safe by:
- Anchoring her when they are out of the house, stopping her from running into the road
- Providing deep pressure head or body rests which can help Emily to remain calm and focus
- Communicating with the public as a social signal, so they understand she is not simply a ‘naughty child’
Demand for our services is at an all-time high. We need your help.
Last year we received over 5,000 enquiries about our services and we currently are unable to help many families feel less isolated. With your support we will be able to help many more.Please donate today.