Improving The Lives Of Families With ASD Children

Dog Point is an association specialized in training, matching and following up assistance dogs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).






2 years

What does the project solve?

Dog Point is an association specialized in training, matching and following up assistance dogs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

  • Sometimes families that have children with autism experience stressful situations that can occasionally lead to fear. Families that don’t feel secure in their everyday life and routines, tend to avoid certain situations, and consequently start limiting themselves.

    With help from dogs, the goal is to give these families valuable support that will allow them to feel more secure. They will start recovering a family environment and practice activities that will improve their wellbeing as well as the relationship of the whole family.

    The objectives of the Association are to assure the safety of children, increase their psychosocial development and improve family leisure time and quality of life. Once the assistance dog is given, he becomes part of the family, always looking for new solutions to ease their everyday routine and the commitment continues throughout the dog’s entire life.

  • The Association helps families that have children with autism by selecting, training, matching and following up an assistance dog as part of the family. Each family has concrete needs, which is why the selection and training processes of the dog are vital in helping these children.

    The people from the Association become very close to each family, helping them with the dog not only on the first weeks but throughout their life together, and this is what makes the difference. The dogs that are part of Dogpoint are raised and taken care of, always focusing on their wellbeing and health. During the first months and the phase in which they live with shelter families, they are followed up with veterinarians chosen by the Association.

    The training sessions are coordinated by professionals who always consider the dog’s needs and habits.

  • The purpose of this project is to help improve specific behaviour in children with ASD, such as escape patterns, self-regulation, sleeping routines, communication stimulation, reducing frustration and even providing safety to the families.

    The final goal is to help facilitate social inclusion of the children and to improve family life as they start to go out more and become more active while feeling safer.

    Each family that receives a dog becomes a very close member of the Association: support network with other families in the same situation, volunteering and investing their time, as well as sharing experience and knowledge with other new families.

    Olivia de Matteis, Dogpoint director: “Having the Royal Canin Foundation’s support means a lot for Dogpoint. Together we will be able to increase the number of families with access to an assistance dog, making their everyday lives easier,less stressful and less limitating.”

  • “It has been incredible to discover things he would not tell us”, says Noelia, Adrián’s mother. “He has been able to start talking when speaking about his dog or asking others about theirs. There were things he was not able to tell us (like problems at school) and we discovered them listening to him talking to his dog. Therefore, we have been able to help him with problems he did not know how to face.”

    Adrián is part of the program created by Dogpoint, an association which trains and matches assistance dogs with children with ASD in Spain.