Autism Assistance Dogs

Autism Assistance Dogs

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disability affecting communication skills and how a person interacts with the world around them. It is a lifelong condition. Autism can be referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as the conditions sit on a spectrum; this means that although there are some difficulties common to all people with autism, different conditions on the spectrum will affect people in different ways.

The three main characteristics of ASD are:

  • Difficulties with Social Communication
  • Difficulties with Social Integration
  • Difficulties with Social Imagination

>>Learn more about Autism in Northern Ireland by visiting Autism NI



How can an assistance dog help a child with ASD?

Although no definitive studies have been carried out, it is estimated that in the UK 1% of children can be classified as appearing on the Autistic Spectrum.*

Although all Children with Autism will exhibit different behaviours, there are many aspects of their lives that an Autism Assistance Dog can help with. They are trained to meet the needs of both the child and the parents. The new companion provides a steadying influence for the child, many of whom have a tendency to run off when scared, especially in strange locations. Our dogs are trained to prevent this.


What does an Autism Assistance Dog do?
Assistance dogs provide a physical and emotionalanchor for children with Autism.
The child is connected to the Assitance Dog for safety.
Provides deep pressure to reduce behavioural or emotional outbursts.
Reduces stress and anxiety of the child and everyone in the household.
Facilitates/encourages communication and eye contact.
Is a calming presence which can minimise and often eliminate emotional outbursts.
Helps the child transition through activities.
Helps the child sleep through the night.



>>Download our Assistance Dog factsheet (PDF)

>>Download our Autism Assistance Dog criteria document (PDF)

>>Download our Autism Assistance Dog application form (PDF)


Contact us directly if you would like more information, or to speak to someone about your circumstances >>