Support Dogs provides, trains and supports specialist assistance dogs to increase the independence and quality of life for people with various medical conditions. We have supported Support Dogs since 2012 helping to provide assistance dogs to children and young people with disabilities, young people like Grant.
Meet Adam and Grant
To outsiders Grant is just a dog, albeit a handsome black Labrador.
To 13-year-old Adam however, Grant is a four-legged miracle, a dog that has transformed the autistic youngster’s life, and that of his family, by increasing his confidence and enabling him to go out, have fun, and relax.
Support Dogs provided Adam with his autism assistance dog, Grant, seven years ago, and the partnership has been a fantastic success, reports Adam’s mum Diane.
Before Grant Adam found speaking and communicating with people outside the family very, very hard,” says Diane. “He couldn’t sleep in his own bed at night, and was very unhappy at school. Also, he had no sense of danger – when crossing the road, for example.
“Grant made an immediate impact. We quickly got more confident so that if we went out there would be less anxiety and far fewer meltdowns. Having Grant helped us as family to go to new places such as the cinema, shops and museums.”
These days Adam is much happier than he has ever been, his self-esteem has grown, and his communication skills have advanced beyond what his mum could have imagined. He has also formed friendships with children at his school – often difficult for youngster on the autistic spectrum. Grant and Adam still spend a lot of time together and Grant is always on hand to provide emotional support at home as well as physical support when out and about.
Grant has also had a positive impact on Adam’s brother and sister. Prior to getting Grant, they were not able to attend clubs or swimming lessons or other social occasions because getting there and waiting with them was too stressful for Adam.
Now they can, because Adam is far more flexible and patient and they can access many more places. When they go out as a family everyone is less stressed and anxious and meltdowns are few and far between. When they do happen, people can see that Adam needs support, so they all feel calmer and can focus on helping him and getting back on track.
“Having Grant has enabled Adam to move towards a brighter future,” adds Diane. “Grant is helping our whole family to live more happily and more independently. We owe him so much; there are no words to describe how much.”