Benefits of reading therapy with dogs for children according to their needs

Reading to animals has myriad benefits for children. Even more so if these children have some kind of problem or disorder, such as in the case of children with autism, hyperactivity or dyslexia.

In each case, animal reading therapy is directed towards a specific goal. The Perros y Letras Project, which operates in many schools around the world, tries above all to increase the self-esteem of children and encourage them to read, but it also has great more concrete benefits. Find out here what are the main benefits of reading therapy with dogs for children according to their needs.

Depending on the child's needs, dog reading therapy can benefit them in one way or another. Some benefits are global, more general, and others are specific. Discover how reading therapy with dogs benefits each child according to your specific needs:

  1. Children with autism. Reading therapy with dogs brings great benefits to children with autism. For example, it helps them to self-control, which is fundamental, and to open up to a world that is not just theirs. For this, contact is worked a lot, both eye contact and tactile contact.
  2. Children with dyslexia. Mainly with them, what is achieved is that they lose their fear of reading. Dyslexia is not actually a disorder. It is a different way of seeing reality. Few things can improve dyslexia, but you can get them to gain self-esteem, since children with dyslexia are very afraid of reading in public, for fear of making mistakes and that others may laugh at them. Therefore, they are usually not motivated to read at all. Motivation towards reading is worked with them. Dogs are not going to laugh, they do not judge anything, they are not going to be surprised if they are wrong. Reading is a challenge for them, and with this therapy they manage to realize that nothing happens because they are wrong.
  3. Children with hyperactivity. What is sought with these children is that they relax, that they read in a more leisurely, calmer way. For this reason, the moment the child reads too fast, he will put his paw on him to indicate that he is going too fast and is not learning anything. When the child with hyperactivity reads more slowly, the dog falls asleep, and the child sees it as a sign that he is doing well.
  4. Children with stuttering. What is tried with stuttering children is that they lose their fear of reading, the fear of making mistakes and being judged. If there is a physical problem, that cannot be treated, but you can achieve an improvement in self-esteem, as with children with dyslexia. If the child does not want to read because reading causes stress, restlessness, then it can be helped with therapy with dogs. Children relax and a lower level of anxiety is achieved, which makes learning easier.

Source: Elena Domínguez (Director of the Perros y Letras Project)

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