Joel was seven when he was diagnosed with autism. He also has ADHD, speech, language and sensory impairment and a sleep disorder. These challenges placed a heavy strain on Joel and his family. When Joel turned nine, he was matched with autism assistance dog Caddie, a yellow Labrador x golden retriever with incredible intuition and a gift for making the family laugh.
A breakthrough partnership that transformed a childhood
Joel, Caddie & Pixel
When autism assistance dog Caddie joined Joel’s family, no-one could foresee how he’d help change the course of Joel’s life, helping him surpass what everyone thought possible.
— Joels’ mum, Janet
Caddie was expertly trained and matched to Joel’s needs. Caddie would wear a jacket, harness and lead enabling Joel to stay safe with Janet acting as team leader. And Caddie provided a positive focus and routine each day — vitally this helped the family better connect.
With Caddie enjoying retirement, still very much a family dog, young autism dog Pixel has stepped in to support Joel.
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