How Can Animals Help With Speech Therapy?

Speech therapists help people with speech and language challenges. In addition to this, they help people to learn how to speak more clearly. Many people across the world undergo speech therapy.

For children, the experience of visiting a speech therapist can be difficult. As a result, speech therapists often try to find ways to help them undergo speech therapy. Animal-based therapy is one way of doing this. Today we’ll focus on how animals can help with speech therapy.

Animals can help motivate learning.


One of the things which a speech therapist will tell you is that sometimes motivating children to learn can be a bit daunting. In addition to this, many children sometimes have an aversion to visiting a therapist of any sort. The experience is new to them on a variety of fronts. To begin with, they’re having to meet with an adult who they don’t know—the speech therapist is a stranger to them. Though you’ll find extremely qualified speech therapists through firms such as, for children the experience is still a daunting one. They are also now being asked to undergo treatment, which they don’t understand. To round things out, a child might be embarrassed about the speech impediment which has caused them to need speech therapy in the first place.

These factors can all act as a barrier to being motivated to learning. Any such barriers will impede the speech therapy process, hampering the chances of a child learning how to deal with their speech issues. Animal-assisted speech therapy can go a long way in helping to build the motivation of children. Some speech therapists have explained that simply having the animal in the room is sometimes all that children need as motivation. For instance, the children might even “talk” to an animal, telling them about what they are working on during the session. In addition to this, the children can earn break times with the animals, such as when they finish their speech therapy assignments. Motivating learning is a great way that animals help with speech therapy.

Animals can help to reduce anxiety.

As mentioned before, heading to speech therapy can be an anxiety-inducing occurrence for children. Though the treatment is meant to help them in the long run, some children don’t do well with new experiences. With children, you’re taking them out of their comfort zone of home. Your home is a safe space for your child. He or she can maybe find comfortable things around your house to calm them, like your pet cat, or dog. 

Maybe their zen space is playing with their cats and their cardboard cat homes which you purchased from Maybe they can be calmed by playing outside with friends. In many cases, when placing them in a new situation (like attending speech therapy) their anxiety will rise.

When you introduce an animal into a speech therapy session, this can help considerably lower the anxiety that a child experiences. A dog, kitty, or even a horse can help reduce anxiety. Once they have started to calm down a therapist can then increase the child’s access to speech and language skills and instruction. If you find your child is struggling you may want to consider taking them to experience equine therapy at The Aerial BVI. However, if this is not something you can do, you can try taking a pet like a cat, to your sessions to help lower your child's unease. As your child watches the cat having fun with a cat scratcher, this can help reduce their anxiety. Having a kitty cat or a dog at a speech therapy session can help make a patient calmer and more comfortable.

Children open up when animals are around.


Dogs and cats can get kids to open up in certain circumstances. In the context of speech therapy, clients often talk a bit more willingly when they see an animal is present. As client's motivation and emotional factors get better, they usually experience better social engagement with others in the long run. So if you’re a speech therapist, consider having an animal around to get your clients to open up.

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