We have been very keen to try pet therapy out, but have failed, having the courage to do so on number of occasions. The deterrents being the lack of experience, space constraints, additional work load..... These are some of the common excuses, that we give. It has been established beyond doubt, that animal therapy for autistic children provides the children with companionship, improves their socialization skills, reduces their tantrum levels and stereotypical behaviors, increases their verbal communication....Companionship is a major issue with our kids, so finding somebody accepting of them is very important. This is very true, in the sense many a times when Ramam is on his own, I wish there was somebody to keep him company. At the least he could play and throw and catch. Autistic kids are known to take on maternal instincts when looking after a pet, feeding them, brushing them. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time before we have a pet.
Ramam has an instant liking for dogs. Having been in the army, many of my husband's colleagues have had labs,German shepherds and a pug also. As one of my husband's colleague puts it his dog is the first one to welcome him home when he gets back after work.Some of these dogs are friendly. When choosing a dog for therapy the following is to be kept in mind.
The dog has to be friendly one and not a calm one. As a calm one may give a sense of rejection to the child.It has to be social.
The dog has to be polite in the sense that the first move maybe made by the child. The dog is not to be thrusted upon the child.
The dog can be of any breed ,but essentially should have a temperament suitable for the job.
Some pets can be trained to become therapy dogs. If you are interested in pet therapy, Ganesh would be happy to volunteer more information. His e-mail id is