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Assistive task training

In the assistive task training sessions we teach the young person how to teach their own dog to perform tasks which help to decrease the negative impact their additional needs have on their lives. These are tailored to the young person but can include teaching emotional support tasks such as:

  • 13 types of pressure therapy which activates the parasympathetic nervous system and triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin which results in the young person feeling calmer.
  • Teaching the dog to find and guide the young person to their parent or carer which can give the young person the reassurance to be more independent in public spaces, in the knowledge if they become overwhelmed their dog will quickly get them back to their parent/carer.
  • Alerting to early signs of increasing anxiety or sensory overwhelm so the young person can implement their coping strategies and decrease the chance of escalation to severe distress/meltdown. (For example, if a young person picks their fingers when they are starting to become anxious, we train the dog to alert by nudging their hands to draw the young persons attention to the anxiety behaviour. The young person then realises they’re becoming anxious and can implement their coping strategies such as doing 5,4,3,2,1 sensory grounding or can be asking the dog to do another task such as deep pressure the assist with emotional regulation etc). This is beneficial as young people with additional needs often miss the signs, they’re becoming anxious, only processing the emotion at the point they’re becoming overwhelmed and unable to regulate themselves.
  • Fetching supportive items such as ear defenders, sensory pack, water bottle or any other item which helps promote emotional regulation for the young person.

If applicable to the young person’s needs, we can also include teaching the young person to train their dog to do physical assistance tasks, medical response and medical alert tasks such as:

  • Alerting to oncoming medical events such as hypoglycemia, seizures etc
  • Picking up and passing back dropped items
  • Taking rubbish to the bin
  • Pulling emergency cord in emergencies

Or any of over 50 tasks we can teach them to train their dog which mitigate the negative impact their additional needs have on their lives.

For the assistive tasks training, the young person is taught through live zoom training and practices with their dog on screen to enable us to provide feedback and to monitor progress. 

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Pawsitive Squad CIC

2 Woodberry Grove

North Finchley

N12 0DR


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