Therapy Animals for Children with Angelman Syndrome

Therapy Animals for Children with Angelman Syndrome
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Therapy animals may be helpful for children with Angelman syndrome, complementing treatment with medications and physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

Animal-assisted therapy can reduce pain, depression, fatigue, and anxiety in these children, and enhance the benefits of traditional treatment.

What are therapy animals?

Therapy animals are pets, usually dogs, who have been obedience-trained and screened for their ability to interact with people and other animals.

A therapy animal is different from a service animal or an emotional support animal. Service animals are trained to help patients with a specific problem, like detecting epileptic seizures a few moments before they start. Emotional support animals are another category of therapy animals that must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional. Emotional support animals do not usually receive any specialized training but should be obedient.

What happens during animal-assisted therapy?

Interacting with an animal during therapy and medical procedures can help your child stay calm and focused. For many patients, it is easier to interact with an animal than a person and having an animal present can be calming.

Therapy animals also can be used during physiotherapy.  During such movement therapy, your child might be asked to play a game with a dog, or brush the dog to work on muscle coordination and movement, for example.

How can I find animal-assisted therapy in my area?

Your best resource to find animal-assisted therapy in your area is to talk to your child’s care team or therapist. If they don’t already offer animal therapy, they should be able to recommend a clinic or therapist in your area who does.

 

Last updated: Mar. 2, 2020

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Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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