Bale's Buddies was founded in 2016, the result of our love of dogs and our personal challenge with one of our fabulous children – Harry’s Autism diagnosis.
Quinn, our amazing Black Labrador, although was not formally trained had an inherent ability to react to Harry’s needs. When Quinn was diagnosed with Epilepsy, James and I discussed getting a Therapy dog for Harry. Massive waiting lists not being an option we decided to combine our knowledge of dogs, psychology and autism and train a dog for Harry. James attended a large number of courses to brush up his years of experience and knowledge of working with dogs, we both researched everything we could, we made a list of how we wanted a dog to help and we planned a training schedule for him/her. I began to contact local breeders and talked to them about what we wanted to do and we met a wonderful family in Cornwall who run Green Cart Farm, they had a litter of puppies and felt that they had one that could fit in as Harry's companion….a dog, which Harry (who rarely spoke) named Bale!
Over the years Bale has been a constant source of support for Harry and has helped inspire independence with eating, dressing, hygiene routines whilst keeping Harry safe inside and outside the house. For us, Bale's biggest influence has been with enhancing Harry’s communication - we went from having a non verbal child to a little man who doesn’t stop chatting. Harry still hasn’t developed total communicative language and his processing of language is significantly longer than a typically developing child, but he's progressing further than we ever imagined he would do.
Life would simply not be the same without the yellow man! We love you Bale Bosworth.
Once our own journey started, we realised this was something we could do to help others in our situation. Every family's journey through life is different, add in Autism and it can become a pretty scary place at times. As a parent all you want to do is help and make your child’s life as happy and easy as possible, so to see them struggling so much on a daily basis is hard.
We've been working tirelessly for years to grow our ideas and allow others to access what we can offer through animal assisted therapies. The majority of our dogs are being trained to be 1:1 family therapy dogs but we also have dogs providing therapy within a School setting. Our community dogs visit schools, nursing homes and hospitals in the local area to allow those who can’t have a dog the opportunity to interact with our trained dogs.
We are currently in the process of registering as a charity and we are working with the ADI to become accredited and affiliated with their scheme.