Working with special needs children and adults in any setting can be challenging. We have seen our wellbeing dog program help increase social engagement and emotional support for people with a disability.
How do community dogs help people special needs?
Therapy dogs are often used to help people with the mental and physical trauma associated with disabilities and illness. Although we don’t have therapy dogs, we do see many benefits of introducing a permanent wellbeing dog into special needs communities.
Our programs train you to think creatively when incorporating a dog into your existing community.
Having a dog for special needs can also:
Help deal with trauma
The impact of trauma manifests as behaviour for many people. Having a wellbeing dog can help you understand how to shift the impact of trauma in your community members.
Having a community dog gives everyone a sense of responsibility. You can build interactions that involve walking, playing and care routines. By helping out, all community members can enjoy a sense of responsibility and ownership of the wellbeing dog.
Improve mental health
Improving mental health in special needs communities can be challenging. Evidence has found that even patting a dog can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Increase social interaction
For children with autism and a range of other challenges, there are many benefits to interacting with a dog. Evidence has found that even a short period of interacting with an animal can increase social interaction. Autism dogs provide non-judgemental companionship and allow children with special needs an opportunity to develop their social skills in their own