Animal Assisted
Therapy

Alfie Therapy dog

Meet Alfie

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), is also known as ‘pet therapy’. It is an experiential form of therapy, where companion dogs work symbiotically with therapists. Canines and humans form bonds naturally, and it’s this instinctual ease of connection and acceptance that enriches therapeutic experiences for children.

AAT is beneficial for children who have been impacted by trauma or are struggling with mental or emotional barriers. It can be used in conjunction with occupational therapy or as a precursor to it, to make children more comfortable with the therapy process.

Labradoodle Alfie mis in training to be our furry therapist. Loves cuddles & belly rubs.

 

Children Who May Benefit

  • Children with a variety of conditions including ASD.
  • Children resistant to therapy.
  • Children who have difficulty accessing their emotions or expressing themselves.

AAT sessions are less stressful, and children are more engaged and enthusiastic about doing the work. They also teach children:

  • Empathy and compassion.
  • Fine motor and gross motor skills.
  • Sensory and emotional regulation.
  • Social skills.

How it works

AAT sessions incorporate specially trained dogs into the OT intervention. Using positive reinforcement methods, learning how to care for dogs, and playing games together are some of the methods used while our clients work toward their goals. The interaction with the dogs facilitates learning to make each session more motivating and engaging.