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Dog-Assisted Therapy

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Our Dog-Assisted Therapy service uses highly trained Labradors to deliver creative ways for children to achieve their therapy goals.

Children of all ages with a range of disabilities can benefit from Dog Assisted Therapy. This includes:

  • Autism
  • Global developmental delay
  • Intellectual or learning disability
  • Sensory impairment
  • Physical disability.

How does it work?

Our therapist will work with you to identify suitable goals for Dog-Assisted Therapy. A session usually lasts one hour and involves the child, therapist, dog and parents/caregivers.

The service is based around specific goals – generally lasting 6 sessions in duration.

In the initial session you and your child will be orientated to the service. Our Occupational Therapist will work with you to set suitable goals for Dog-Assisted Therapy, and your child will be introduced to our trained therapy dog for the first time.

At the end of the program, goals are reviewed and you are provided with a summary report that can be shared with your child’s therapy team.

Goals and activities of Dog-Assisted Therapy

Goals and activities of Dog-Assisted Therapy include:

  • Motivation for children to engage in practice of skills (moving towards the dog or interaction with the dog is used as a reward for completing a task or skill).
  • Physical tasks (turning the pages of a book, walking side by side).
  • Emotional regulation – providing a calming effect.
  • Social skills development (eye contact, turn-taking, listening, waiting).
  • Self-care and care of others – dressing, feeding.
  • Play and language skills – communicating wants and needs through words or other means.
  • Pretend play – engaging the dog in imaginative play, role play, etc.

To find out more about Dog-Assisted Therapy, get in touch with us today. If you’re ready to get started, make a referral now.