An exciting video has caught the attention of animal lovers over the past month, showing the special care that a dog has for children with Down Syndrome. In the film in question, we can see the Argentine boy Hernán being cared for and winning a thousand strokes from a Labrador dog, who tries to form a friendship with the little bearer of the syndrome, while hugging him.
Very useful and of great help for people with various types of disabilities - such as visual impairments, through guide dogs - the dog for children with Down syndrome can make a huge difference in the process of their intellectual and physical development, and therapies that use dogs to encourage people with the syndrome to progress in different areas are beginning to gain more space in the country.
The difficulties experienced by a Down Syndrome sufferer are varied, and include factors such as learning difficulties, problems with motor coordination and obstacles to social interaction. With the help of “dog therapists”, such complications can be greatly eased and simplified, increasing the developmental capacity of the carriers and the specialization of the animals.
Nowadays, it is already proven the positive influence of animals in people affected by the most varied problems and diseases - so much so that many hospitals already reserve special periods for the visit of pets to their patients, improving their mood and motivation. Find out, below, in what aspects dogs can help children with Down Syndrome, and see what characteristics the animal must have in order to become a tool to help in the development of people with disabilities.
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The benefit of dogs for children with Down Syndrome
If animals already collaborate with the motivation of sick people, in the case of the exceptional, this help can be even greater, and both the social coexistence and the motor coordination of children with Down Syndrome can evolve considerably with the therapies that dogs have as base.
According to the psychopedagogue Eliane Pereira da Silva - who works with exceptional children and with Down Syndrome more than 15 years ago - this type of therapy can teach a lot in different aspects; however, it should only be carried out with the little ones who accept the presence of animals well, since many of them are terrified of any contact with animals.
"The coexistence of exceptional children with dogs can help a lot in the matter of social interaction, in addition to encouraging the little ones to deal with responsibilities and influence the overcoming of their limits", explains Eliane, adding that even the simple fact of a dog walking around side of a small exceptional can already help you to have a better direction of direction, collaborating with the evolution of the motor coordination.
The sense of responsibility and sociability are other factors that also benefit from therapy with dogs. “The fact that the child can interact with dogs facilitates the understanding of responsibility, as it is possible to encourage them to perform tasks such as giving food and taking special care with animals, for example. In the daily life of the child with the dog, he ends up developing, also, the social issue; since they tend to talk a lot with the animal, and this can increase their ability to socialize and to form affective bonds ”, explains the specialist.
According to her, the overcoming of limits is another important and beneficial point of this type of therapy, because, when interacting with dogs, children end up trying more to accompany them and perform tasks together - actions that, consequently, lead the carriers of the syndrome to overcome barriers in a natural way.
Although the variety of locations that carry out this type of work in Brazil is still limited, there are already institutions that bet on animals as a tool for various therapies, such as INATA - Institute of Actions and Therapies Assisted by Animals; who works with the exceptional as well as the elderly and people with various diseases. The Association of Parents and Friends of the Exceptional in the city of Descalvado (SP) is another that bets on dogs as therapists, and has obtained better and better results in the animals work with children with the syndrome.
It is important to remember that, in the same way that children with Down Syndrome with animal phobia should not be forced into therapies of this type, all dogs that go to work on therapeutic projects must be extremely trained and docile, since squeezes and slaps are relatively common reactions on the part of children with the syndrome, and animals must be very calm and calm to deal with this type of action without major problems.
Check out and be touched by the video of Labrador with a little bearer of Down syndrome: