Event Title

Sit, Stay, Support! Exploring Canine-Assisted Activities with Individuals with Disabilities

Location

Virtual

Start Date

3-5-2021 10:00 AM

End Date

3-5-2021 11:00 AM

Description

Research describing animal-assisted activities (AAA) and their impact on young children have been documented, albeit sparingly, in the research base. This emerging base includes AAA efforts with “reluctant readers” (e.g., Lane & Zavada, 2013) and developing readers (e.g., Linder, Mueller, Gibbs, Alper, & Freeman, 2018). Scorzato et al. (2017) reported evidence from their pilot study on the behavior, communication, and social skills with adults with severe to profound intellectual disabilities.

Fung (2017) noted that most animal-assisted related research to date has been focused on more therapeutic purposes, being delivered by health-care professionals. However, there has been more literature prevalent in the past few decades describing canine-assisted reading programs in public libraries; yet, there are few controlled studies which show clear measures of outcomes. Additionally, efforts have generally taken root in more urban areas (i.e., see www.sitstayread.org). Fung continued, making a case for canine-assisted activities (CAA) which focused on reading with participants being students with disabilities. She noted that canines could be used as a non-judgmental audience, as a speech elicitor, as a comfort companion, and as a younger sibling, allowing the child with a disability to become a caretaker to build self-esteem.

The purpose of this presentation is to provide a description of law, the hierarchy of CAA, and research regarding animal-assistance strategies and programs.

Target Audience: Educators

Comments

Dr. Christina Edmonds-Behrend is a Professor in the Department of Special Education at Eastern Illinois University. She earned an Ed.D. from Illinois State University and is active in Delta Kappa Gamma, a society for women in education, holding local and state positions. Her research interests include reading strategies for K-12 learners, social and communication skills for adults with disabilities, and canine assistance activities. She is active in her local canine rally group and is currently training two dogs for therapy work.

Dr. Anne O. Papalia holds a Ph.D. in Special Education from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.Ed. in Counseling from Alfred University, and an M.Ed. in Special Education and a B.S. in Special Education/ Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Dr. Papalia’s academic interests are in Learning Disabilities, Reading, Duane’s Syndrome, and Animal Assisted Therapy. Her outside interests involve training and certifying therapy dogs. Dr. Papalia has been active in the Therapy Dog Reading Program for children and training service dogs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She has also trained and shown dogs in American Kennel Club (AKC) obedience and agility.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Mar 5th, 10:00 AM Mar 5th, 11:00 AM

Sit, Stay, Support! Exploring Canine-Assisted Activities with Individuals with Disabilities

Virtual

Research describing animal-assisted activities (AAA) and their impact on young children have been documented, albeit sparingly, in the research base. This emerging base includes AAA efforts with “reluctant readers” (e.g., Lane & Zavada, 2013) and developing readers (e.g., Linder, Mueller, Gibbs, Alper, & Freeman, 2018). Scorzato et al. (2017) reported evidence from their pilot study on the behavior, communication, and social skills with adults with severe to profound intellectual disabilities.

Fung (2017) noted that most animal-assisted related research to date has been focused on more therapeutic purposes, being delivered by health-care professionals. However, there has been more literature prevalent in the past few decades describing canine-assisted reading programs in public libraries; yet, there are few controlled studies which show clear measures of outcomes. Additionally, efforts have generally taken root in more urban areas (i.e., see www.sitstayread.org). Fung continued, making a case for canine-assisted activities (CAA) which focused on reading with participants being students with disabilities. She noted that canines could be used as a non-judgmental audience, as a speech elicitor, as a comfort companion, and as a younger sibling, allowing the child with a disability to become a caretaker to build self-esteem.

The purpose of this presentation is to provide a description of law, the hierarchy of CAA, and research regarding animal-assistance strategies and programs.

Target Audience: Educators