Animal Assisted Instruction

It's more than "petting the dog"

What is Animal Assisted Instruction (AAI)? …not “just petting the dog." AAI focuses on using a dog (and sometimes other animals) to work with individuals to help them achieve their physical, social, emotional and other goals. Our therapist, Kris Campesi, is a retired teacher, who is professionally trained in Animal Assisted therapy. Her dog, Micah is specially trained to work with students with special needs.

Working with our teachers, Kris and Micah help address specific educational goals along with physical and occupational therapy goals. The benefits to the students include:

  • Developing/honing fine motor skills
  • Developing/honing gross motor skills
  • Visual tracking
  • Following directions
  • Sequencing
  • Social engagement/play
  • Developing Empathy
  • Spatial Planning

We have had this program in place for 5 years and everyone in the building considers it a “must-have” for our students. The video below provides an excellent explanation of what we do in the course of Animal Assisted Instruction.

This program is completely funded by donations. Your support would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate to support the program, please visit our fundraising site by clicking here - all contributions are completely tax deductible.