We’ve all heard the saying a dog is a man’s best friend, but we know that phrase also applies to women and children. 

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Kites Children’s Therapy has witnessed a lot interest in its Dog-Assisted Therapy program. Kites is one of the very few organisations in WA that offers this type of therapy. All the dogs used in the program receive training from the team at Guide Dogs WA.

The innovative (and FUN!) program helps children to achieve therapy goals across different areas. Targets may include – social participation, emotional regulation, gross and fine motor skills development, communication skills, pretend-play, turn taking and self-care.

The dogs themselves are a BIG draw. A qualified occupational therapist works alongside a highly trained pup through eight sessions. Children with anxiety, ADHD, or autism are among those who find the sessions beneficial. 

Kites Children’s Therapy, based in Victoria Park, has three dogs in its program – Bazza, Melba and Ernie with another dog, Onyx, currently in training. 

The sessions could include brushing and grooming a very pampered therapy dog, or and participating in games and tricks. These could include the dog rolling a ball to the child, jumping over barrier in an obstacle course, spinning a wheel with its nose, using their paws to turn pages of a book and turn-taking with games. The dog may also participate in dressing-up activities as part of imaginative play.

A child can improve their emotional regulation through sensory activities, such as petting, stroking and brushing the animal.

Young children find it paw-some watching the dog, seeing it turn book pages with its nose, or switching on toys and engaging in activities with them. 

Would you like your child to em-bark on their Dog-Assisted Therapy journey? Find out more in this video of Occupational Therapist Nat and Therapy Dogs – Bazza and Ernie


For further information, email: hello@kitestherapy.org.au or head online to www.kitestherapy.org.au

About Jennie McNichol

After spending 11 years in London working in the television industry for the BBC, Jennie McNichol made the move to Perth in 2010. As the Co-Founder and Editor of Buggybuddys, she has been able to use her experience and passion for helping families to create a trusted online resource for parents across Perth.
Jennie is the proud mother of two daughters, aged 14 & 12 and is a big advocate of the family-friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.

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