Authors: LaFrance C, Garcia LJ, Labreche J
Title: The effect of a therapy dog on the communication skills of an adult with aphasia
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2007 40(3): 215-224
Year: 2007
Research Design: Single Case Design

Little evidence-based research has been published within the field of communication disorders on the role of dogs as catalysts for human communication. This single participant study, a point of entry into this realm of research, explores the effects of a therapy dog on the communication skills of a patient with aphasia receiving intensive speech and language therapy within a rehabilitation setting. The researchers conclude that the presence of the dog does have the potential to stimulate both overt social-verbal and social-nonverbal communication. Learning outcomes: As a result of this activity the reader will be able to (1) describe the beneficial role of dogs to serve as catalysts for human communication (2) describe ways in which a person with aphasia may be assisted by a therapy dog and (3) become familiar with an animal-assisted therapy (AAT) program set-up for patients with communication disorders within a rehabilitation setting.

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