For the past 18 months, we have supported the Playa del Carmen Integral Care Centre (CEAO) with the necessary funds so that they can provide their students with assisted dog therapy.
This therapy involves supporting a person with a disability using a specially trained dog. It is an integral process where the dog fulfils certain functions which stimulate the improvement of the physical, social, emotional and cognitive functioning of the students. The dog offers a source of calmness and a focus of attention, making the person feel more secure and accepted while not being judged.
Physically it is expected to improve fine and thick motor skills as well as improve mobility and balance.
Mentally it is expected to increase verbal interaction, focus and attention, boost self-esteem, reduce anxiety and feelings of loneliness and increase happiness.
Lalo’s progress has been visible in his ability to relate to others. Lalo arrived being little tolerant to the school and with the time it has been noticed that his interaction has improved in all the previous mentioned aspects. Upon arrival of the dog for therapy, Lalo is happy and accepts to receive orders and stimuli.
Yara’s disability makes it impossible to interact in many ways. The dog allows something as simple and as beneficial to her as the warmth of its body. Although Yara does not have much facial reaction, it is clear that being with the dog provides her with joy.
Progress in these students with assisted dog therapy is slow but consistent. These children require continuous and prolonged work, as well as multiple repetitions to see changes.
February- July 2017 for all the students to attend dog therapy sessions costs a total of MX$18 700 (£780)