PAWS (Parents Autism Workshops and Support) brings together parents of children with autism, to share experiences and explore the potential that a pet dog might have within the family. The program has been running successfully in the UK and the Netherlands for the past two years.
The special chemistry shown between a child and a dog through Assistance Dogs Australia’s work providing Assistance Dogs for families with a child with autism, has led us to realise that whilst for some children there will be a clear need for a fully trained assistance dog, a well-trained family pet dog can also have a massively beneficial impact.
*Please note completion of these workshops are a prerequisite before we can accept an application for an Autism Service Dog.
Our workshops cover the important pros and cons to be considered when thinking of applying for a dog to help your child and your family.
The workshops are designed to provide parents with the information and long-term support for sourcing, choosing, handling and training a dog specifically to benefit a child with autism and the family as a whole.
Due to the structure of the workshops, they are not suitable for children and privately owned pet dogs to attend, unless otherwise advised.
The workshops cover:
- Questions you might have about owning a pet dog
- How dogs can help a child with autism
- Selecting the right dog to live with a child with autism
- Options for finding a suitable pet dog
- Things to think about when training a dog
- Selecting an appropriate training club/trainer
- Dog welfare and equipment needs
Upcoming workshops in 2018
To register for an upcoming workshop, please fill in the application by clicking on the 'Register now' button below.
Please note: Due to limited resources, we can only run workshops in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. If you are located in a rural area of one of these states or another state, we may be able to run workshops in your area. We require a minimum of 10-15 interested families before a workshop can be organised, if you feel you can organise this number of people, please contact us.
- These workshops are open to parents of children and young adults with a clinical diagnosis of autism.
- Workshops run from 9am-3pm.
- Parents are welcome whether they already have a pet dog or not.
- For the 2018 series, the cost will be $75 for the first parent and $35 for the second parent/carer in the same family for the three workshops. This covers resource packs and light refreshments.
Long-term Support Available
Following the workshops, the PAWS team will offer ongoing support to families, through a variety of channels. Including telephone support to an online forum and family support network.
For more information, please call 1800 688 364 or email us.