I learned about
Animal Assisted Therapy
several years ago when I took an ‘Animal Therapy Certification’ Workshop given by Aubrey Fine, Ph.D. I was very impressed with his knowledge of ADD and
and how he used animals in his therapy treatment center. He even utilized cats, dogs, birds and horses as part of his treatment protocol.
At the same time, I found out about animal assisted equine therapy and studied its possibilities in helping children with physical and emotional disabilities along with adults with chemical dependency problems. Currently, I am taking advantage of ‘Healing Horses’, which was recently started here in the California desert.
Most children with ADHD, dyslexia and
have difficulty with visual and auditory processing. I am a firm believer in the Bernard A.I.T. training program for these children. I have seen remarkable results, such as a four year old non-verbal boy begin speaking after just 10 sessions. And I have seen children with various learning disabilities, who were unable to read to their peers, begin reading to animal assisted therapy dogs. Therapy animals can make a client feel totally safe and unconditionally loved, which opens up pathways of self-expression which they didn’t have access to prior to building the relationship with the service animal.
Do animal assisted service dogs help children with autism? Read this fascinating story.
At Healing Horses Therapeutic Riding Center they believe with appropriate individualized services, support, therapy and information, children with autism spectrum disorders will grow learn and flourish.
They will be utilizing a multi-prong therapeutic approach that will produce positive changes in critical areas of development including but not limited to core muscle strength, improved balance, speech and vocalizations, positive behavior, self esteem, visual motor and spatial skills.
The goal is to maximize the child's functioning in their homes, schools and communities by increasing their language, reducing negative behaviors, increasing core muscle strength,
improving relationships with peers, parents, teachers and caregivers, peer play, joint attention, self care and overall self esteem and independence.
They are committed to being an inspiration and educational resource of the Therapeutic Riding profession. Their vision is a community where people, regardless of ability, can achieve their fullest potential.