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Autism Service Dog

What is an Autism Service Dog?

Autism Service Dogs are matched with children and young adults on the autism spectrum.

Having spent two years training for this role, these special dogs can provide support to the whole family.

An Autism Service Dog can provide support in the following areas:

  • Communication skills
  • Confidence and independence
  • Empathy to new situations
  • Emotional understanding
  • Social relationships
  • Tactile perception
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Provide routine and stability
  • Environmental understanding
  • Self-esteem
  • Family relationships
  • Behaviour patterns

We know that each child on the autism spectrum is different, and so before applying for an Autism Service Dog, parents are required to attend a PAWS Workshop with Assistance Dogs Australia. These workshops are a great chance to meet our staff and explore how an Autism Service Dog will work within the family.

An Autism Service Dog has full public access rights meaning they are allowed in any public place* and on all public transport. It is illegal to refuse entry to a Service Dog*.

*The only exceptions are zoos, aquariums, sterile environments, food preparation areas and quarantine areas.

People who receive an Autism Service Dog are provided with a photographic identity badge as proof of Service Dog status, which they must take with them in public, and a Service Dog jacket for the dog.

The Christian and Rufus Story

Autism Assistance Dog After attending a PAWS workshop, mum Carolyne applied for an Autism Service Dog for her six year old son, Christian. 

Since receiving Rufus, she has noticed the positive impact he has had on the whole family. 

“Rufus gives our son independence, he is able to hold on to Rufus and not run away, giving us security and safety.” said mum Carolyne. “Christian’s expressive language has blossomed with Rufus.” says Carolyne.

Visit our Real Life Stories page to disciver more about our Autism Service Dogs. 

How can I apply for an Autism Service Dog?

To express your interest in an Autism Service Dog, parents must attend our PAWS workshops. We are not currently accepting applications for PAWS workshops but will advise when we are in a position to take on new applicants.


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