A dog may be considered to be "man's best friend," but for some unfortunate individuals, they can be far more. After all, even though the concept of a service dog is not new, these animals definitely help handicapped people to function on a daily basis. While some people with vision difficulties simply could not get around without their four-legged friend, others who may be much younger and have a different kind of difficulty can also benefit, due to latest developments. How can dogs help children learn to read as part of this new program?
Around the world, millions of people can be classified as partly or completely illiterate. This can have a massive effect on not only their prospects but also their family harmony and the development of the wider community. As this is such an enormous issue, many enterprising people are constantly on the lookout for ways to help, and the concept of the therapy dog has gradually developed.
Often, children who have issues with literacy also face confidence issues and are very self-conscious, especially when surrounded by other people. However, they tend to perform much better in a less threatening environment when accompanied by a therapy dog. In other words, they don't feel that they are being "judged" by the dog if they are not performing according to expectations. They feel the unconditional love that the animal gives to them, and this helps to boost their learning prowess.
In a traditional learning environment, children who are having difficulties will often be teased or bullied by their peers, and this can have a detrimental effect. They may get negative feedback from another "human" when they make a mistake while reading but will never get this kind of adverse reaction from a dog.
How It Works
To put this theory into practice, children will read out loud to the dogs in a much "safer" atmosphere, and this will help them to develop this critical skill. Over time, they will feel less pressured and be much more confident; in due time, this will make them much more competent when engaging with their peers.
Of course, this can have much greater consequences for the wider community, as it makes these individuals more productive and contributory. This can also make the family more engaged and alleviate some of their worry, allowing them to focus on growing their family instead.
More Support Needed
This is a very exciting development, but it is still in its infancy and organisations that are promoting this trend may still face challenging times. If you feel that you could contribute and support these organisations with this groundbreaking work, get in touch with a corporate sponsorship representative for more details.