Today is World Autism Awareness Day and Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA) and its Parents Autism Workshops and Support (PAWS) program are recruiting families for workshops on the importance of dogs for children with autism.
ADA has been providing trained assistance dogs for families with children with autism for 18 years, but these new workshops are designed to educate parents on the ways dog ownership can benefit more children with autism and the family as a whole, says ADA's Amanda Hope.
"Dogs have an incredible calming effect when a child with autism is angry, anxious or distressed," she says. "They can distract a child away from disruptive or dangerous behaviour and create a space for the parent or carer to take control of a situation."
Workshops will be held initially in NSW but will eventually be available to families nationally. For more information visit the ADA website.