World Autism Awareness Day is the 2nd April 2022. At Morris Living, our business is built around improving the quality of life for our customers and our core values and passions also reflect our commitment to trying to make positive differences in people’s lives.
One of the ways that we show our support in the community is through our charity partnership with Support Dogs UK, which you can read all about in one of our past blog posts here. Support Dogs UK is a registered charity that trains dogs to support people with physical disabilities, epilepsy, and people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
The autism assistance programme provides support for children and their families who have experienced a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. The dogs are trained to provide safety and companionship for autistic people.
Children thrive from the bond and comfort they receive from their support dog, where in many cases an improvement in mental health, increased social skills and social interactions has been reported. Assistance and alert dogs in the UK enable the child to develop a higher level of independence and help the family of the autistic child to lead a more socially inclusive life.
Autism affects individuals in different ways and assistance dogs in the UK are trained to help with several important interventions. For example, some children with autism have little sense of danger and are can therefore wander into a dangerous environment. Autism assistance dogs are trained to help protect and alert children from potentially dangerous situations.
Service dogs are also trained to help in situations where a child with autism may be distressed, anxious or overwhelmed. The National Autistic Society has a wonderful bank of resources on its website that offers helpful and evidence-based advice to parents of children who may struggle to express their emotions, including this guide on distressed behaviour.
In addition to the safety aspect of the dog’s support, many clients who use the autism assistance programme see a huge number of life-changing benefits. Some people with autism are non-verbal and having the companionship of a support dog has shown to help children calm down quicker when upset.
As well as being a major comfort for children, parents also benefit from the changes that a therapy dog can bring into their lives. Stressful situations can be reduced and when children feel the emotional and social support of their dog, parents can enjoy a more socially inclusive lifestyle with the help of the therapy dog.
How Morris Living works with Support Dogs UK
Since launching our charity partnership with Support Dogs UK in February, we are very proud to have raised over £200 for the charity. We continue to encourage our customers to support this great cause. When customers purchase from Morris Living, they can donate to Support Dogs UK in addition to 5% of all sales of our refurbished furniture going towards the charity.
As well as raising vital funds to pay for the training of these life-changing dogs, we can raise further awareness of the charity by sharing information on our website and encouraging more people to support the charity. The Support Dogs UK website is full of valuable advice and case studies, as well as information on how you can request an application for a service dog.We are looking forward to continuing this partnership so that we can help more families across the UK, through helping with the crucial funding required for training the dogs.