India - retired Police dogs help autistic children

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17 May 2022, 1:26 pm

ITBP’s canine warriors chip in to help children with special needs
In a first-of-its-kind initiative, ITBP’s retired dogs are helping in therapy of autism-affected children in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service
Vijay Mohan
Chandigarh, May 17

After guarding the tough Himalayan borders and neutralising deadly threats from bombs and terrorists, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force’s (ITBP) canine warriors have chipped in to help out children with special needs in Chandigarh, much to their joy and delight.

In the first instance of its kind in India, four retired ITBP dogs--Sultan and Rozy, both Labradors along with Speed, a German Shepard and Toofan, a Malinois--visited the Institute of Special Children here as part of the therapy process for children affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“It has been scientifically validated that non-verbal and non-human interaction of special children with trained K-9s can improve their demeanour, hand-to-eye coordination and eye contact besides reducing hyperactivity in some cases. The presence of a canine companion has a soothing effect on children with special needs,” Dr Natarajan said.

Like children, dogs too are playful and affectionate and the connect which can be established between dogs and children is remarkable. “This is because unlike human interaction, the company of dogs is completely non-judgmental and simple acts like grazing into a dog’s eyes or patting its head can bring lots of cognitive changes in the child,” Dr Natarajan said.
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I kind of expect that "much to their joy and delight." applies to both the children and the dogs! :D

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