Dogs for the Disabled creates exceptional partnerships between people and dogs; from assistance dogs helping children and young adults with physical disabilities and families affected by autism, to pet dog autism workshops and innovative new projects working in schools and residential care settings.
The charity has trained over 700 assistance dogs to date and through practical assistance a dog enables children and young adults with physical disabilities to enjoy the freedom and independence most people take for granted.
The charity’s autism assistance dogs work with families of a child with autism. They can have an incredible calming effect when a child with autism is angry, anxious or distressed and enable families to go out together to restaurants, museum, parks and on holiday, previously often impossible.
The PAWS Family Dog Service provides advice and support to families on how they can train a pet dog to help their child with autism.
#IamABLE: to feel safe and positive about my future
Aged just eight, Toby wanted to end his own life. “You’d be better off if I’d never been born,” he said and went round the house turning photos of himself to the wall. Then autism assistance dog Sox arrived and everything changed.
The whole family was astonished by the miracle that ‘Superhero’ Sox, as he was quickly dubbed, performed. In just two weeks, the atmosphere in the house was transformed.
Toby, now 10, says, “Sox has filled a huge hole in my heart. We’re connected by an imaginary string from his heart to mine. I just feel better now Sox is here.”
Dogs for the Disabled is changing. From 15 October 2015 the charity will become Dogs for Good, reflecting the range of services offered by the charity and focusing on all the good which can be achieved by bringing people and dogs together.
Since 2007, DM Thomas Foundation has awarded Dogs for the Disabled over £200,000 in grants.