ANIMAL ADAPTIVE THERAPYTM
Institutional Service Dog
Behavioral Intervention and Therapeutic Facilitation
Pre-K - 12+
*All services are customized to the specific needs of EACH individual student.
In the Merlin’s Kids™ Animal Adaptive Therapy™ Program, the institutional service dog is trained for endless possibilities adapting to and assisting in Therapies and Interventions in all clinical and emotional situations at school. Since each dog’s signals vary slightly when detecting chemical and energy changes, it is imperative that the certified handler knows his or her dog’s personality traits and introduces them to a variety of situations to train on their dog’s signals. Handlers must also must be able to evaluate what needs to be, and is able to be developed for their designated facility.
It is required that a handler for an institutional service dog obtains a certification in Natural Canine Behavior Rehabilitation™ in order to fully understand canine behavior and what dogs are communicating to humans. The dog/human team is capable of phenomenal accomplishments when the handler is trained to correctly interpret their canine partner’s signals.
These dogs are skilled at maintaining a calm manner in all situations. The dog is adaptable and able to interact with a variety of people, including those with physical and/or emotional disabilities. The American with Disabilities Act recognizes the use of appropriately-certified animals to serve students with autism and psychiatric mood disorders. Therapy Dogs are also used in educational settings to assist students in the areas of social development, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and academics. In order for an individual to fully benefit from activities utilizing the dog’s skills, it is essential that these activities be incorporated as a part of the overall therapy program designed for the student. Although therapy tasks can (and will) be customized to meet the needs of the specific students, the benefits of “typical” tasks in an educational setting include:
Improved social skills development.
By learning positive ways to interact with a dog, students develop the skills to help them interact with people.
Reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Research studies have shown that students display noticeable improvement in mood with the involvement of dogs during therapy.
By interacting with a facility dog, student involvement increases. Thestudents engage in activities that are fun, comforting and reinforcing. The dog offers unconditional love and is nonjudgmental, which reduces feelings of anxiety or loneliness.
Animal Adaptive Therapy promote social interaction. Increased language is measurable with students who have difficulty with expressive language. Enhanced feelings of safety and well-being. A facility dog offers a friendly and pleasant encounter during the school day.
If you would like to implement Animal Adaptive TherapyTM into your institution and for a comprehensive list of unique services offered, please contact us.
If you would like to become a certified Natural Canine Behavior RehabilitationTM, Therpeautic FacilitationTM, and Behavioral Intervention SpecialistTM, apply here.