Center of Hope receives $2,100 Alpine Kiwanis Charities Grant

Barbara Olson Center of Hope is proud to announce it has received a $2,100 grant from Alpine Kiwanis Charities to expand its robotic animal program. These interactive animals provide a rich experience designed to bring comfort, companionship, and fun to individuals with sensory needs.

“It has been proven in numerous studies how having a pet can lower blood pressure, decrease depression and anxiety and help boost mood. A lot of our participants cannot have pets in their group homes or may be scared of real ones, so these animals will allow our participants to reap the benefits that pets can bring without the up keep,” said Kelley Peterson, director of participant services.

Individuals with autism experience varying levels of stress and anxiety as well as difficulty in focusing, responding to sensory stimuli, and communicating with others. We take an individualized approach to meet their sensory needs, reduce stress or to improve their social interaction and communication.

“One of our participants has his own robotic pet and we have already seen so many positive interactions with him and other noticing it and wanting to use it as well.  It has increased his verbalizations and interactions with others,” she added.

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