The Waggy Dog Project was set up in February, 2017 by Laura Docherty and Sarah Nisbet. The project has three main aims which are:-
To help children with autism become more sociable by engaging with autistic children on their terms. A lot of children with autism have been excluded from clubs and events due to a lack of understanding of their specific needs. We hold autistic friendly events where common triggers such as bright lights, loud noises, and social interactions are reduced. All of our events and clubs are for the whole family and are a welcome opportunity for a moment to relax and have fun in a non-judgemental environment.
To raise awareness, acceptance and understanding by visiting mainstream and additional needs schools. We have launched a “Read to Me” scheme in these schools where pupils can read to our dogs. This helps develop confidence leading up to reading aloud in front of their peers.
To train and provide autism assistance dogs. Until now, dogs have had to go to England for a month or more for training. We believe that the bond between dog and owner should not be broken by separation as this causes stress and anxiety. All training and exams are held in Scotland by The Waggy Dog Project.
In addition we have created the only, much needed, additional needs dog club in Scotland.