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Autism Assistance Dogs are a game-changer for people with ASD

Autism Assistance Dog

Autism Assistance Dogs are highly skilled and well-trained working dogs that are partnered with children or adults affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to provide support and assistance, transforming and improving the lives of their human partners and their families. Every Autism Assistance Dog is selected and trained according to the specific needs of the individual with ASD. They are handled either by the adult with ASD, or by a family member of the child with ASD.


Reduce Anxiety

They provide a constant, calming, reassuring influence and help their partners cope with challenges such as unfamiliar surroundings. They help to reduce the frequency and severity of meltdowns.

Motivate Social and Communication Behaviours

They encourage social interaction and involvement. They also serve as social catalysts and alleviate stress, promoting engagement with peers, family members and the larger community.

Increase Safety

They can interrupt stress induced and repetitive behaviours that are harmful, and prevent a child from bolting or wandering off. In an emergency, they can help search for their missing partner.

Promote Healthy Sleep

They encourage a good bedtime routine, sleep in bed with their partners, and provide reassurance throughout the night, which can improve quality of sleep.

Improve Independence

They help enable their partners to access services, employment and public places, encourage participation in daily routines like getting ready for work or school, and support independent living.

Foster Healthy Living

They require daily outdoor exercise, training and play time with their partners and their families, which in turn foster healthy living through regular exercise.

Vital Tasks

Autism Assistance Dogs are trained to perform specific tasks to help their partners cope with challenges, manage their anxiety and keep them safe. The tasks are chosen based on their partner’s individual needs. Examples of these vital tasks include:


Deep Pressure Therapy

Deep pressure therapy relaxes the nervous system by applying firm, gentle pressure to the body. It has a calming effect, reduces anxiety and improves sleep. By resting their head or placing their body on their partner, Autism Assistance Dogs can provide deep pressure therapy and give comfort and sensory support when needed, such as during the onset of a meltdown, anxiety attacks and before bedtime.

Deep pressure therapy
Pawing to interrupt harmful behaviour


Behaviour Interruption

People with ASD may have stimming or self-stimulating behaviours for many reasons, from reducing stress and sensory overload to stimulating the senses. Stimming is not always a cause for concern. However if it is harmful or disruptive, such as picking at skin or head banging, Autism Assistance Dogs can nudge or paw at their partner to get their attention, disrupt the behaviour and in time, help to change this habit.


Tactile Stimulation

Tactile stimulation can provide soothing sensory input that is sought by many people with ASD. Autism Assistance Dogs can position themselves to be touched to provide passive tactile stimulation, or nudge or paw to provide active tactile stimulation. It can be grounding, like an anchor to help prevent environmental overstimulation, by providing a focus point and helping to block out other sensory input like noise and light.

Passive tactile stimulation
Child tethered to Autism Assistance Dog



Children who have a tendency to bolt or wander away may get themselves in dangerous situations. As a safety precaution, they can be tethered to an Autism Assistance Dog which acts as a physical anchor to keep the child from running or wandering away from the parents but also gives the child a bit of independence.


Emergency Down

Another safety precaution for children with a tendency to bolt is the emergency down. If the child who is tethered to an Autism Assistance Dog begins to run off, parents can give a verbal command for the dog to immediately drop and hold its ground, preventing the child from moving further.

Tethered child is prevented from bolting
Search and Rescus Trailing offers peace of mind to parents0363556_edited.jpg


Search and Rescue Trailing

Search and rescue trailing is an additional safety precaution that offers peace of mind for families with children who are prone to running away. Parents can use the Autism Assistance Dog's incredible sense of smell and trailing skill to search for and quickly locate their missing child.

From providing comfort, encouraging social participation, supporting independent living and offering safety measures, Autism Assistance Dogs are transforming the lives of their human companions and their families all around the world. They help their partners navigate through and integrate into society, aiding them to gain confidence and independence. Their unconditional love and devoted companionship offers reassurance, security and friendship, and can transform a life of isolation into a life of healthy engagements.

Are you ready to consider how an Autism Assistance Dog can change your life? Get in touch with us and we will be glad to answer all your questions on Autism Assistance Dogs and how one can join your family.

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