Recently, I was talking with a communication disorders major at my school, Emerson College, about Autism therapy. She mentioned how there has been research regarding the use of therapy dogs to help those with Autism.
I personally love dogs and understand how they could be used therapeutically to help individuals cope with a number of disorders. According to a 2010 New York Times article, therapy dogs can help to build a bridge between an Autistic child’s inner world and the world around them. Children build communication skills with the dogs and can then use these skills when interacting with people.
Additionally, therapy dogs are trained to act as a calming influence, which benefits Autistic children, some of who experience tantrums. Dogs also provide an incentive to participate in therapy when children may otherwise be disengaged.
We are continuing to accept photo submissions for our Missing Pieces Project, which will culminate on April 3rd at Emerald Lounge, as part of Future Boston’s Assemble! series. What is your missing piece? Is it man’s best friend?