Working with dogs
We work with charity Dogs for Good to help people supported by Autism at Kingwood, to overcome achieve their goals in leading independent lives. By working together and sharing knowledge and expertise, the two charities have used Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) to help people overcome specific challenges and develop life skills. Such challenges and life skills include reducing anxiety, confidence to go out, developing road safety, improving self-care and fear of dogs. People who participate in this project are unable to complete as high a level of independence as they would like.
Sessions take place weekly, involving the person we support, the dog (usually Fleck!), the specialist handler and our support worker. We review progress regularly and evaluate outcomes for clients.
During lock-down physical sessions paused, but Fleck and his handler Sarah have kept in touch with people we support online. Sarah and the support teams have also devised ways of continuing support, including social stories to explain why Fleck wasn’t visiting, a jigsaw puzzle made from a photo of Fleck, cards from Fleck and a birthday card for Fleck! Autism at Kingwood and Dogs for Good have found ways to boost morale, as well as to continue maintain progress towards our beneficiaries’ wider goals.
Kate Allen, our Chief Executive spoke to BBC Radio about the benefits of this important collaboration – click here to listen.
The project has been made possible through the continued support of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust.