Boy to receive Costa Rica’s first therapy dog for autism

In an effort to help people with disabilities better integrate into the community, Spain’s Association of Dog-Assisted Therapies provided and trained the first therapy dog for a child with autism in Costa Rica. “The project is very much a novelty in Costa Rica because up to now, no assistance dog of this kind has been trained for that country or delivered there,” said Miguel Angel Signes, who helped train the dog.

From FOX News Latino

Xena, a 4-month-old Labrador, will be the first assistance dog in Costa Rica  to help a 7-year-old autistic boy named Aaron adapt better to his surroundings,  thanks to a solidarity project undertaken by Spain’s Association of Dog-Assisted  Therapies, or AIAP.

Miguel Angel Signes is one of the instructors in charge of training the  canine, and since early this year he has been in Costa Rica with AIAP President  Nuria Luengo promoting this kind of treatment to aid the integration of people  with disabilities or special needs into society.

Such therapies can help with the education and general treatment of children  suffering some disability like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and more,  Signes told Efe.

Aaron is suffering an autistic disorder and thanks to Xena will be able to  lower his stress and anxiety levels, since “the simple act of hugging, brushing  or walking the dog is enough to reduce both symptoms,” Signes said.

“The dog will also teach him to walk down the street correctly and will  direct his steps in the right areas, as far away from the edge of the sidewalk  as possible,” Signes said.

The animals are used in such cases as motivational agents to reduce attention  disorder, boost self-esteem, memory, concentration and even improve emotional  relationships.

“The boy’s disruptive behavior will be calmed down by the dog’s presence,  since he’ll be bound to it at all times,” Signes said.

Training an assistance dog can cost as much as 16,500 euros ($20,300), but in  this case Xena’s training will be free thanks to an agreement between AIAP and  Aaron’s parents.

“The project is very much a novelty in Costa Rica because up to now no  assistance dog of this kind has been trained for that country or delivered  there. But best of all, the boy is already having therapy sessions with Xena,  which later on will help his adaptation,” Signes said.

Therapies with animals are based on sound science. According to Signes, it  has been proved that sessions with dogs and other animals are effective in  working on the patient’s behavior, communication and sociability.

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One Response to “Boy to receive Costa Rica’s first therapy dog for autism”

  1. Arthur says:

    The real causes of autism and it’s cure are known. Here is what the MSM and government aren’t telling us.

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