Focused on the needs of children, adolescents and young adults with Autism and developmental disabilities and their families. Making life a little kinder one dog at a time.
Pawsitive Abilities is programming offered by Pawsitive Action Foundation (PAF) a 501(c)(3) organization in Saint Cloud, Florida. Pawsitive Abilities’ programming is designed to provide training, education, and support to improve the educational outcomes of individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities through the utilization of service and therapy dogs and community education. With a commitment to Children, Families and Educational Partners, Pawsitive Abilities is comprised of a volunteer committee with various backgrounds who are dedicated to meeting needs of children, adolescents, and young adults with Autism and developmental disabilities and their families. The programming is designed to provide training, education, and support to improve the outcomes of the children through the utilization of educational assistance, service and therapy dogs.
At PAF, their Educational Assistance Dogs are trained to assist teachers within the ESE classroom. Assistance dogs provide motivation for students to learn, reduce stress and anxiety, and provide calming to allow for quicker recovery following emotional dysregulation. PAF’s assistance dogs are placed with a selected facilitator who accepts the primary role of training and caregiving for the dog. The facilitators attend weekly training with PAF staff and volunteers.
In the summer of 2018, Pawsitive Abilities partnered with the Osceola County Public Schools to begin an Educational Assistance Dog (EAD) Pilot Program for the 2018-2019 Academic School Year. As a part of this innovative EAD program, three dogs have been placed with educational providers (ESE teachers and paraprofessionals) who have been training with PAF staff and volunteers preparing their educational assistance dogs (Apple, Kaylani, & Haven) to work in their ESE classroom where they will provide daily support to the students and be integrated into their classroom curriculum.
Pawsitive Abilities is committed to raising awareness within the community and providing support and training to educators and the community. The goal is to create a collaboration with the schools and community agencies to promote the benefits of service animals and acceptance of educational support dogs, as well as, their role in assistance with Autism and developmental disabilities. As a part of the Pawsitive Abilities therapy dog program, volunteers visit the schools weekly to provide emotional support and encouragement to students and staff. Volunteers are also available to attend community events with the goal of making life a little kinder one dog at a time by raising awareness through community education.
Additional information regarding Pawsitive Action Foundation or Pawsitive Abilities can be found by visiting the website www.pawsitiveaction.org or by calling 407-917-4729.