Support dog would be a ‘life changer’

Michelle and her son Nathan
Michelle and her son Nathan

A mother has set up a fundraising page to raise money to get a support dog for her son who has aspergers.

Michelle Ludford, of Dunstable, hopes to get an Autism Assistance Dog for her son Nathan, to help and support him with his condition.

The 15-year-old attends the ASD unit in Manshead School. His mum believes the support dog would be able to help calm him down when he has an outburst.

She said: “It costs £1,000 for the dog and about £2,000 for a year’s training with Nathan in our home and a specialist trainer’s home.

“These dogs can detect a meltdown coming. In his meltdowns it causes him to put me and himself in danger as he can get violent, hitting himself and me.

“These dogs have a proven track record of protecting the child and the families.”

Support Dogs is a national charity dedicated to increasing independence and quality of life for people with various conditions. The charity provides and trains the assistance dogs.

The Autism Assistance Dogs are trained to provide safety and to facilitate a more independent and socially inclusive life for the child with autism. The dogs have been shown to reduce stress, promote positive changes in behaviour, provide comfort and support behavioural outbursts.

Georgia Ludford, Nathan’s sister, said: “Nathan has aspergers, a type of autism, and finds it very difficult to settle himself down in certain places and experiences.

“The dog could help him enjoy a better life and and my mum would not have to worry about where she takes him and being able to do normal activities.

“A dog would calm him down and help him when he needs that attention and cool him down before he even gets to his meltdown stage. This dog would be fully trained just for Nathan and learn his behaviour, this would be a life changer for my family.”

To donate to the page, visit: