Pawsitivity is dedicated to serving underserved populations, including families of children with autism.
Two of our programs help exemplify our commitment:
- Autism Service Dog Training Program: 1 out of 68 children have autism, but children with autism are an underserved population and most service dog organizations will not work with them. One of autism's primary symptoms can be difficulty in working with others, which includes the service dog trainers, and thus makes the training process difficult. Many of the children with autism also have other disabilities, which also makes the job harder. But it is these very problems that make a service dog so very helpful to these children. Autism service dogs can help these children learn empathy, help with socialization, help with soothing melt-downs, and can even alert or respond to seizures. Families who have received a Pawsitivity Service Dog consistently report, among other benefits, that they are finally able to visit more than just school and home, that their children can now self-soothe enough to get to doctor's appointments, and that for the first time in their lives the children are making friends.
- Public Education Program: Raising public awareness through informational and educational activities on the purpose and function of service dogs, the benefits they accrue to their partners with disabilities, the needs of people with disabilities which can be met with a service dog, and the rights and responsibilities of service dog partners under the Americans with Disabilities Act.