Welcome to CAL Autism Assistance Dogs

CAL Autism Assistance Dogs provide highly trained dogs to help transform the lives of children and their families. We work closely with families to create an individual package to suit their needs and  pride ourselves on the ongoing support and relationships we have.

The young people and families we work with have differing needs. From our Bespoke dogs to our Affiliate dogs, we help families find the right solution.

CAL Autism Assistance Dogs can help with the following:

 

Increase Independence and support family life

Many of the children we work with have a very limited sense of danger or of the consequences of their actions, yet they struggle to hold hands or have physical contact – they understandably want their independence. Some children have a tendency to bolt where others may wander off from their carers putting themselves in danger. Our CAL Autism Assistance Dogs are trained to assist in keeping a child safe, reducing the risk of injury or distress for the child and reducing stress and anxiety for the family.

Improve self-confidence

For many of our children simply the presence of a dog helps them to access their everyday lives by reducing anxieties and providing them with comfort and friendship. A dog’s companionship can help with transitions and give a young person the confidence to take the next step.

 

 

Sensory integration 

Every autistic child has different sensory needs ranging from deep pressure to a gentle touch. Depending upon need, our dogs are trained to work with their child, supporting a sensory diet in partnership with parents, carers and where appropriate, Occupational Therapists.

 

 

 

Self-Regulation

The bond between a child and a dog creates a special relationship which is  incredibly strong. Our dogs learn to anticipate the actions and behaviours of their child and usually become highly attuned to their emotional state. Through a careful training programme parents and children are taught to involve their dog in a sensitive and supportive way when children’s emotions become disregulated,  helping children  improve their ability to recognise their feelings and behaviours, and to learn coping strategies with the support of their canine partners.

Transforming Lives

Making dreams possible

 

He makes my life a lot easier…

When I get stressed out he’s always there for me” .

 

 

I can only describe it as ‘he brought calm to our household’ – he makes basic everyday things like bedtime, hygiene and leaving the house a calmer situation rather than the stressful situation it used to be. To be honest, sometimes I think he kind of saved me as well as our son he is great therapy for me when I’m feeling low too

 

 

Having an Autism Assistance dog has literally changed our lives. We can go out as a family

now and relax together. I can give my attention to other people and things as I know my son is both safe and happy with his dog. The ‘tummy-lead harness’ gives him his space but keeps him safe. Having his dog to walk with and hold onto also grounds him in a way that is hard to explain – it brings him happily into our world and connects him to what is going on around him”

 

 

 

Friendship

Our dogs can provide a loving and non-judgemental bond along with friendship which many of the children we work with struggle to find. Along with friendship our dogs have helped children show an improvement in meaningful communication and an increased vocabulary. We have seen a number of our previously non-verbal children develop and improve verbal communication skills as a result of working with their dog.

 

Our Services

Bespoke Autism Assistance Dog

Our bespoke dogs are for autistic children with complex needs and can support with safety and physical interventions both inside and outside the home. Our bespoke dogs, without exception, are trained by us from puppies and start their lives with experienced puppy walkers. In early puppyhood we put in the all important groundwork your dog will need to work calmly, confidently and effectively in what can sometimes be challenging and complicated circumstances. After puppy walking our training team complete the specialist work they need to prepare them for their working life. We provide a bespoke package for you and your family. For information on our prices and how we can best help you please contact us

Affiliate Autism Assistance Dog

Not every autistic person has the same level of need that our bespoke dogs offer, and we often have  families asking us if their pet dog can become a CAL Autism Assistance Dog? If your pet dog already supports you (as an autistic adult) or your autistic child and you would like to be able to take them to public places and spaces as an assistance dog, they may be eligible for our Affiliate Programme. If you are interested in finding out more please contact us

Puppy Walking

Our puppy walkers play a vital role in getting our dogs ready to work with their families. Puppies live with their puppy walkers who will receive them from around 8 weeks old. Over a 6 – 8 month period they will introduce them to life and play an important role in basic training in the early months. Puppy walkers receive full support and training. To be eligible to be a puppy walker you need the time to devote to a puppy, oodles of love and cuddles to give, a safe environment, and a real interest in how dogs learn….. could this be you? please contact us to find out more.