The bond between humans and animals is, without a doubt, a rehabilitative one. It is unparalleled by any other form of treatment for folks with special needs or disabilities. Research has repeatedly emphasized that animal-assisted therapy can aid in rehabilitating those with special needs. It can help them experience greater well-being and can develop their physical, cognitive and social functioning.
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that aspires to develop a patient’s cognitive functioning through interaction with animals. These animals may include dogs, fish, horses, cats, and others that prove to be unique companions to individuals with disabilities or special needs. A similar story has been unearthed where a boy named Judeley, who had to undergo leg amputation, spends his time with a horse named Tic Tac in order to be rehabilitated.
Animal Therapy Helps People with Special Needs
Judeley Hans Debel is a nine-year-old boy with a prosthetic leg. He visits an equestrian center, in Haiti, to spend some time with his favorite horse Tic Tac. It doesn’t take him long to be sitting proudly on Tic Tac’s back once he gets there.
The equestrian center at Port-au-Prince has been offering several therapeutic services to disabled youngsters. Experts at the facility claim that these riding programs improve the riders’ balance, coordination as well as confidence. The horses’ movements are very similar to those that are generated in the human pelvis while walking, thus aiding the users’ ability to walk. Added to that, the riding also stimulates nerves and muscles, which helps in rehabilitation.
A Life of Financial Crisis
Nerlande, Judeley’s mother, says that these free sessions on a weekly basis give her son a refreshing break from a life of financial crisis. She is struggling to support her child and goes through thick and thin to maintain his prosthetic leg. She claims that despite all these hardships, Judeley chose a life of happiness and activity for himself. The horses add to his strength and upheave his morale whenever he visits the equestrian center.
One of the Many Calamities in Haiti
Judeley is one of approximately 6,000 people who endured procedural amputations after the great earthquake that shocked Haiti’s capital around seven years ago. He was just 2½ years old when it happened, and his fragile body was pressed under the rubble of his crushed home. His mother managed to survive the earthquake but spent countless hours worriedly digging her son out. Upon reaching the hospital, all that could be done to save his life was to amputate his leg.
Despite all of this, Judeley chose life and refused to skimp out on a normal life. He plays a number of sports alongside his schoolmates with the same passion as the others and aspires to become a doctor when he is older. Despite all these activities, his most beloved hobby is bonding with Tic Tac every week. His relationship with the animal developed almost instantly and has evolved into a strong friendship ever since. Many children like Judeley gain a more positive outlook on their lives when they spend time with animals like Tic Tac, proving that animal-assisted therapy has the potential to improve the lives of many around the world.
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