Pawsitive Abilities

pilot programming offered by Pawsitive Action Foundation

                                                             a 501(c)(3) organization in Saint Cloud, Florida

Pawsitive Abilities is a Program Designed and Initiated by our Neuropsychologist Dr. Cristy L. Russo.

Cristy Russo, PhD., MSCP, created Pawsitive Abilities,  from her passion about the collaboration between families, educators, & providers in facilitating a child-centered approach to promoting social, emotional and educational well-being. Since implementation of the pilot program, Osceola County has since been able to move forward with their full program EAD Osceola which has grown from 3 dogs in 3 schools to multiple dogs across the county. Dr. Russo is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida and available for consultation or program development. For additional information regarding the Pawsitive Abilities programming or to schedule a presentation, training, or consultation, contact Dr. Russo at 321-802-1150 or by email

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.

Commitment to Children and Families

Pawsitive Abilities’ programming is designed to provide training, education, and support to improve the outcomes of individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities through the utilization of service and therapy dogs and community education.

Pawsitive Abilities is comprised of a volunteer committee with various backgrounds including professional dog trainers, mental health providers, retired educators, parents and caregivers with affected family members who are dedicated to meeting needs of children, adolescents, and young adults with Autism and developmental disabilities and their families. Our programming is designed to provide training, education, and support to improve the outcomes of the children through the utilization of service and therapy dogs.

Facilitator Training Support

Each applicant and family is interviewed and upon acceptance into the program will engage in the general training process and companion placement will occur based on the individual needs of the child and family. 

Individual Service Dog Placement

Service Dog Training

Facilitator & Child Interaction

Service Dog Awareness

Facilitator Training

Each classroom facilitator is interviewed and upon acceptance into the program must provide a letter from their school and school district providing permission to utilize the educational assistance dog in the classroom.

Educational Assistance Dogs

Parent Education

School Support &Education

Teacher/Facilitator Support

Service Dog Awareness

Raising awareness within the community and providing support and training to educators, providers, and community organizations. Creating a community of collaboration to help promote the knowledge of benefits of service animals and mental health awareness.

Community Outreach

Therapy Dog Outreach

Community Education

School Visits

Pawsitive Abilities is excited to announce our Educational Assistance Dog Pilot Program 

beginning in the 2018-2019 Academic Year. Training is currently underway for the placement of 3 Educational Assistance Dogs in 3 ASD/ESE classroom in Osceola County Public Schools.

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