Does your child have a learning disability? Or another form of physical or emotional limitation? If so, your child’s pediatrician or psychologist has likely suggested some sort of therapy for coping. When traditional therapy doesn’t seem to be benefiting your child completely, it may be time to try to something else—a therapy dog. Here are some different types of disabilities and how a therapy dog may be able to help your child.
Anxiety and Depression
Has your child been diagnosed with having anxiety and depression? It’s a serious condition that can leave a child isolated and terrified to engage in social settings. This can make going to school or attending sporting events nearly impossible. Symptoms can be crippling:
- Anxiety attacks, including feelings of panic and impending doom.
- Feeling or acting out of control.
- Isolation from daily activities.
- Turning to drugs or alcohol.
- Self-harm or harm to others.
- Drastic mood changes.
- Changes in weight and eating habits.
- Trouble concentrating in school—poor grades.
- Thoughts of suicide.
If you notice any of these signs in your child, it’s time to seek out professional help. Once a diagnosis has been made, ask your therapist about an ESA or emotional support animal. You will be put in touch with a professional service, like Emotional Support Animal Co. online, who will evaluate your child for a therapy dog. The objective will be to calm your child down and give him a sense of responsibility and grounding. The goal is to get your child to a place of calm and rational behavior and learn those skills while having the comfort and companionship of a pet.
Keep in mind that most emotional support animals are dogs who have had specialized training in recognizing human emotions and physical signals and ultimately reacting in an attentive manner or response.
Has your child been diagnosed with a type of mental health condition, like Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD)? If so, he or she may benefit from an ESA companion animal. With a learning disability, one of the biggest obstacles for individuals is being able to focus on instructions, carry through and concentrate on the task at hand. Being taught how to learn things in a different way takes patience and perseverance. A support animal can offer support to your child and help boost confidence and instil encouragement during his entire learning experience.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, occurs following a traumatic event or experience. It often follows a serious life-altering event such as abuse or witnessing a death or horrible accident. It can instantly trigger the body to shut down or be severely affected by a panic attack or extreme fear. It can be crippling, even with advanced therapy and medication. One thing that may help along with therapy and meds is an emotional support animal. Some of these pets can sense when an attack is about to happen and warn others so they can get help. An ESA can help your child cope with the unexpected effects of a PTSD episode.
This comfort, in combination with the right amount of support and therapy, can create a sense of calm and stability. The goal is to work through each episode and reduce the incidence of future panic attacks.
A learning disability can make it hard for your child to achieve the educational goals he needs to succeed in school and everyday life. ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one type of learning disability that can impact one’s ability to learn and thrive. An ESA can help your child with ADHD. According to MyPetCerts.com, here’s how:
- By offering a positive distraction.
- Reducing stress triggers.
- Encouraging personal responsibility and routines.
- Offering an outlet for excess energy.
- Being a non-judgmental companion to your child.
Trained pets can have calming effects on your child, as well as possible trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. This can help your child regroup and focus better on the task at hand.
When traditional and medicinal therapies are just not quite enough for your child’s recovery and growth, it’s time to look for more help. An emotional support animal can provide the right companionship to help your child grow and thrive.