Autistic individuals can benefit educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with Therapy dogs. In addition to these benefits, can take great enjoyment from interaction with them.
Trained therapy dogs communicate their intentions in a way more readily understandable to people with autism. Challenging behaviours associated with autism can sometimes occur and these can interfere with learning or daily functioning. Underpinning the challenging behaviours may be anxiety, depression, sensory needs or social communication needs. Therapy dogs can support the social, emotional and mental health wellbeing of young people and promote positive behaviour. Learners out of education can be encouraged back into school/college and can be supported in transitions by promoting caring for a dog as an incentive.
Therapy trained dogs can be used in clinical and family settings to facilitate people with autism engage in social interaction, participate in everyday activities and develop responsibilities. Specifically, a dog may provide an opportunity to learn how to care for the animal. This includes walking and grooming. responsibility, caring and sharing when helping each other take care of a dog . Working and playing with a dog may improve social skills and self-esteem. A learner struggling to read may have a reduction in pressure when reading aloud to a therapy dog. Therapy Dogs can work with students on a one to one basis and may especially help those who have been bullied, abused, going through upsetting/difficult times or even scared/phobic of dogs. Group therapy can also be carried out with the Therapy dog.
Meet Nico our Therapy Dog who brings much joy and help to those he meets. Nico is happy to provide plenty of hugs and is a great asset to the therapy team.