Boy with autism and his support dog

IGDCB Companion Dogs


A 2019/20 grant of £10,000 from JLF has been earmarked as follows: training in autism for the staff of the Special Needs Unit, a survey of special needs families that have received dogs over the past five years and sponsorship of 3 companion dogs.

Your partnership has helped raise the profile of special needs, in particular for children with autism, and has helped ensure the importance of this department. In fact, the subject of Special Needs and the PTSD programs are one of the major focuses of the Center's work plan for 2021 - Dennis Allon, Director Fundraising and Resource Development at IGDCB.

The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind (IGDCB) mission is to improve the quality of life for blind and visually impaired Israelis, IDF soldiers with PTSD and families with special needs. The Special Needs Department provides companion dogs, primarily for children on the autism spectrum. These dogs are gentle and respond well to human needs with love and companionship.  Dogs in this program are well-suited to become faithful companions to children and their families who are coping with autism or other special needs. 

Cultivating a relationship with a dog helps these youngsters in numerous ways:

  • Improving communication and social contact
  • Regulating emotions and controlling outbursts of anger
  • Promoting an interesting, varied, and active lifestyle
  • Building a sense of confidence and self-efficacy
  • Developing a sense of responsibility, independence, and capability
  • Increasing feelings of empathy and awareness of the needs of others

Each dog in the program is matched with the family and the child with special needs by means of a questionnaire, personal interviews, and a home visit by our professional staff.  After being matched, the family comes to the center for a guidance session to learn how to care for the dog and successfully integrate it into their home. 

For more information about the Israel Guide Dog Center click here