To not be able to tell people what you need or want, that you love them or just to share things with them makes life very difficult for everyone involved.  Speech therapy was created is empower these people to communicate. Loss of the ability to communicate may have resulted from a birth injury (cerebral palsy), genetic disorder (autism or cleft palate), developmental delay (Down’s Sydrome), hearing loss, stroke or brain injury, for example. 

A Speech and Language Pathologist works with patients on:

  1. the cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, problem solving, etc.)
  2. speech (articulation, fluency, etc.)
  3. language (ability to speak using voice, sign language or some alternative communication system or device along with understanding language including the pragmatic/social aspects of communication, etc.)
  4. oral motor aspects (sensory awareness, swallowing, chewing, issues relating to eating and feeding, etc.)

How do the Dustin’s Paw dogs help kids who do not talk? Here’s a response from Amber Gresham, Speech and Language Pathologist.

I think the best answer is motivation! The dogs are so motivating for kids that normally aren’t motivated by much. It is much more fun to request with signs and/or a voice output device for the dogs to dress up in funny beauty parlor accessories, do tricks, eat a snack, play doctor, play computer, have a tea party, have a picnic, fight a fire (pretend of course), play sports, etc… than without the dogs. Watching Praire get in trouble can really make a child’s day! Diane is able to have the dogs communicate with the children at their level which is truly an incredible thing to watch!

Comments are closed.