Type of service:
Social Care Services
The Frances Hay Centre,
Dogs For The Disabled,
Dogs for the Disabled is a pioneering charity that trains assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities, and families with a child with autism.
Through practical tasks our dogs offer freedom and independence, but in addition an assistance dog becomes a reason to go out, giving a new found confidence that opens doors to fresh opportunities including friendships, hobbies, education and even careers. The partnerships we create between people with disabilities and dogs are life-changing.
The core service provided by Dogs for the Disabled is training assistance dogs for adults with physical disabilities. Every dog is specially trained to help with practical tasks that many people with disabilities find difficult or impossible to do.
Here at Dogs for the Disabled we believe that by training a dog to have special skills it will provide not just independence, but also help give a child confidence by enabling them to be more independent. A child?s assistance dog will be trained in tasks such as retrieving dropped items, opening doors and helping remove a jacket or pair of socks and shoes.
As the relationship between dog and child develops it is expected that the dogs will help with physiotherapy. For children that need regular practice at moving their upper body or improving their hand-eye coordination, a dog could be trained to „mirror? stretching exercises or play a „throw and catch? game of ball with a child.
An Assistance Dog Team comprises a trained dog (assistance dog), a child with physical disabilities (referred to as the client), and a family member or someone from the client?s close support network (referred to as the team leader).
In 2008, Dogs for the Disabled extended its services to help children with autism and their families. Over the next three years, we are piloting two services to help families with a child with autism to lead a more fulfilled life: Autism Assistance Dog service - the provision of a specially trained assistance dog Parents Autism Workshops and Support (PAWS) - supporting families to get the most out of a relationship between a pet dog and their child
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