For Autistic Children, Therapy on Four LegsBy Jones, Karen; New York Times,
Publication Date: November 10, 2010
Article discusses the therapeutic benefits of therapy dogs for children with autism. Unlike service dogs, who live with people with disabilities, therapy dogs are described as dogs that visit treatment centers and residential schools for students with disabilities such as autism. The article features a team consisting of a handler and a therapy dog from the Good Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in New York State that prepares its teams with a nine week training course that teaches the dog to be very calm and able to absorb stress. The dog and handler are described interacting with children at a year round residence and school for students with moderate to severe symptoms of autism, where children request interaction with the dog by pointing at pictures of objects arranged around the room including tennis balls, dog treats, a pet brush, a leash, and a water container. An education specialist teaching children with severe autism in an elementary school in California with the aid of a dog from the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence relates how a functionally nonverbal student started to say hello and goodbye to the dog, behavior which also transferred to interactions with the teacher and other students.
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/giving/11DOGS.html