These mothers talk about how owning a pet animal did wonders to their children with disabilities!
Having a pet animal can do wonders and have a positive impact on lives of youngsters with disabilities. The love, affection and care given by these animals are unmatched. Mothers who have children with disabilities vouch for this. Read on to know more.
There is a special bond of love, care and companionship between pets and their owners. Over years, experts have proved how having a pet can have multiple benefits on mental health of their owners. Colette has put it rightly, ‘Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet’.
In the case of children with disabilities, having a pet animal at home can indeed give them a new lease of life. Mothers of youngsters with disabilities shares with Newz Hook about how having a dog or cat at home has worked wonders for their children.
Benefits of having a pet
One of the best things about having a pet is the fact that animals don’t judge you. Children with disabilities like autism or ADHD are calmer when their pets are around. They are able to connect more with animals and some others find solace in them. Children with autism, most of them who are non-verbal can effectively interact with animals.
Experts point out that having a pet can help in learning, creating a positive mindset and in better interaction with people. Needless to say about the many anti-stress properties too! A child learns to be more empathetic as well.
“Animal assistive therapy is popular in western countries for over four decades. But it is new to India, and even now many people refuse to accept this form of therapy. Children with developmental disorders like autism and cerebral palsy are the ones who benefit the most from this therapy. Most of the times, people tend to think that having a pet at home is animal therapy. It is not. That is just a comfort animal for your child. Basically, animal assistive therapy is physiotherapy involving an animal. There are trained therapy dogs and horses who reach out to children who need them”, says Subhadra Cherukuri, a certified animal assisted therapy practitioner
Archana Patil from Mumbai recollects the first day she got home their Labrador Snowie. Archana’s elder daughter Rashmi Patil has a hearing impairment and son Jatin Patil was diagnosed with autism. Archana wanted to add more sparkle to their lives and that is how Snowie made a grand entry. Snowie, who is now three years old is their therapy to happiness. Jatin is the one who takes care of Snowie.
“We call him Pillu. After he entered into our lives, we are all happier. Initially, Jatin was not really into dogs. He was even scared of Pillu, but now he takes care of him like his own sibling. They love to play and cuddle. What I have noticed is that Jatin has learnt to become more affectionate after being with Pillu. He doesn’t even allow us to shout at Pillu and is such a protective brother now! Jatin has become calmer and knows he has company. His behavior has changed for the good”, says Archana.
Pratima Bhinge and her son Kush Bhinge owns a two-year-old Golden Retriever whom they have named Maggie. Kush, 17 years old, has multiple disabilities. According to Pratima, Kush is happier now. Being the only son to his parents, Maggie is sister to Kush.
“Kush had earlier done animal assisted therapy and that did help him a lot. That is how we decided to get Maggie when she was hardly a few months old. I always wanted to buy a dog, but decided to do it a couple of years ago when I settled down at home. We keep telling Kush that Maggie is his sister and they bond so well. She doesn’t judge you and you can just be yourself with Maggie around. Maggie is alert when Kush is there with her”, says Pratima.
Dussiya, the adopted miracle
Sangeetha John’s elder daughter Sherin Zacharia, who is under the autism spectrum disorder, is a writer and poet. Their adopted cat Dussiya is Sherin’s best friend. Sangeetha remembers that they first saw Dussiya on the road, hardly a few days old, motherless and scared. Sherin wanted Dussiya to be picked up and taken home.
“Sometimes Dussiya just takes food from Sherin’s plate and she doesn’t even say anything to her. Though she doesn’t show too much of affection to Dussiya or pamper her, Sherin always looks out for her. When Sherin has tantrums, Dussiya gets alarmed. When she has seizures, we can see how Dussiya gets upset. In fact, she is good company to my whole family. Both my daughters consider her family”, says Sangeetha.
These mothers vouch for the fact that pet animals make lives better for their children with disabilities!