Animal assisted therapy increases fine motor skills




Roehm, Jillian

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Occupational therapists use animal assisted therapy to address various therapeutic goals, however very little research has been completed regarding how these professionals utilize this intervention. The school setting is one area that occupational therapists utilize this intervention to promote age appropriate fine motor skills.

The purpose of this multiple case study was to discover whether animal assisted therapy incorporated with occupational therapy produces better outcomes than traditional occupational therapy when treating students with fine motor delays. Two kindergarten students identified with delayed fine motor skills participated in four animal assisted therapy sessions with the occupational therapist. Results from both participants revealed slight improvements in fine motor skills. The most improvements were seen in the participants' increased attention and motivation to participate in fine motor tasks. Results of this study provided insight into how occupational therapists can successfully use animal assisted therapy within the school system to improve fine motor skills.



Health and environmental sciences, Education, Special education