The Animal Assisted Therapy program at Beaumont Children's is
administered by the hospital's certified child life specialists. The
program helps hundreds of young patients each year cope with the stress
and anxiety of hospitalization through interactions with furry, four-legged volunteers.
Child life specialists accompany each dog and the dog's volunteer
owner/handler on all visits with patients. The children enjoy petting
the dogs, playing with them and simply focusing on something other than
WHAT IS ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY?
Animal assisted therapy is a goal-directed intervention designed to
promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or
cognitive functioning. The program helps the Child Life Services team
fulfill its mission to promote effective coping through play,
preparation, education and self-expression activities.
In addition to room visits and extra one-on- one time for patients
who need more support, the Animal Assisted Therapy program offers
several therapeutic components, including:
- distraction during IV starts and other minor procedures
- assist with physical therapy or occupational therapy sessions
- special group events
All participating dogs are certified through Therapy Dogs International.