Friday, July 1, 2011
The Toledo Zoo recently unveiled a new program they will be offering this summer pairing autistic kids with zoo animals. The program is called APES which stands for "Animals Providing Emotional Support". You can read more about it here.
I'm excited that the Toledo Zoo has found a way to incorporate their animals into helping people. The reporter in the the video mentioned that the program is gaining a lot of interest. I think it's great that people are willing to try it out.
I'm interested in seeing what kind of tools and assessments they will use to measure success. They will need to be able to prove that they are legitimately offering a service for the zoo to continue to keep the program. That data will also be useful for the writing of potential grants. Hopefully this will become a model that other zoos can follow.
**Update** It seems that the program is still going on and the Autism Academy of Learning is the group to get in touch with.