Highly-skilled Autism Assistance Dogs offer families of children with disabilities a number of benefits, including early intervention training to facilitate independence, and the skills to manage challenging situations.
However, the most important benefit is safety. On outings, the child’s safety is enhanced by being able to be connected to a body piece/coat on the dog through a safety belt around the child’s waist. In conjunction with this, the parent has control of the dog through their own lead and will apply vocal commands to the dog. The child is encourage to walk beside the dog, but should they attempt to run off, the dog is trained to resist by sitting or lying down acting as an ‘anchor’. This gives the parent time to intervene and diffuse the situation.
A key part of this program will be our partnership with Professor Andrew Whitehouse at the Telethon Kids Institute, who will evaluate how the Buddy Dog for Kids program will improve the lives of our families. We hope that this will ensure long-term sustainability for this exciting program.
An Autism Assistance Dog promotes positive social interaction and assists in the development of the skills used to enable participation in community, social and recreational activities.
Other benefits include:
- Social outings and activities becoming much more possible and less stressful for all
- Improved quality and quantity of sleep as the child may wake less with the dog sleeping in his/her room
- Positive changes in the child’s behaviour
- Comfort for the child
- Full public access, including restaurants and shops.
Your generous support will help provide essential items such as the purchase of dogs specific to the Buddy Dogs for Kids program, a purpose built vehicle to transport dogs, specialist trainers and a purpose built training room.
The Think Fragile X Gala Dinners wouldn’t be possible without all of our dedicated volunteers and sponsors.
We would like to invite you to become a Hero of the 2017 Think Fragile X Gala Dinner and help us continue the amazing work of the Buddy Dogs for Kids Program in WA.