ERIC Number: EJ948304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Reference Count: 3
Dr. Fluffy: An In-Depth Look at Animal-Assisted Therapy
Grado, Elisabeth M.
Exceptional Parent, v41 n5 p12-13 May 2011
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a fairly new practice whose underlying principles date back to the beginning of time. Man has always found companionship in animals, but now researchers, educators and therapists are finding that by drawing on that comfort, children and adults can attack physical, mental and emotional issues. The use of animals in therapy sessions has been shown to increase communication, teach responsibility and respect, and, in the case of equine therapy, increase one's muscle strength and development. AAT increases communication because the mere presence of an animal creates, in most people's minds, an environment of comfort and safety, and the animal serves as a "catalyst for human communication." This article describes how three therapy dogs from The Delta Society, an organization of AAT teams, facilitate small group sessions focused on promoting verbal skills and practicing good behaviors.
Descriptors: Animals, Therapy, Teaching Methods, Interpersonal Communication, Verbal Communication, Communication Skills, Prosocial Behavior, Muscular Strength, Student Motivation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A