The first education and training center of Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association was launched in October this year while therapy dogs for autism treatment will be introduced to provide services for those who need animal therapy. Two therapy dogs are now undergoing training and it is estimated that the guide dogs under local training will be officially in service by the end of this year.
At present, there are more than 40,000 students with special educational needs in Hong Kong, including autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity. The Association has therefore taken into account the successful experience of foreign countries and introduced therapy dog services with cooperation with other social welfare organizations. Some dogs can provide animal-assisted treatment for autistic children after professional training and passing assessments, such as listening to instructions and assisting in training to enhance children’s physical, mental and social functions.
Especially for those children with autism who lack appropriate social and communication skills, therapy dog is more than a company for the recipients. Direct emotional response of the dog allows children with autism to learn to understand and care others rather than being self-centered, which can effectively enhance children’s interpersonal communication and peer relationship. Apart from animal’s assistance, ABA treatment can be more systematically and effectively in improving language, social and behavioral problems for children with autism. Early treatment, a mile to a smile!
More details: http://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/news/20181008/bkn-20181008134534113-1008_00822_001.html
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