We created the LionhearTAILS program because we firmly believe that animal assisted therapy benefits our students in many ways. Horses and dogs are useful tools in a variety of therapeutic and educational settings at Lionheart.
Research indicates that animal interventions provide health benefits such as reducing anxiety levels, helping with depression and fear as well as facilitating social interactions for individuals on the autism spectrum, and other disorders of relating and communicating.
Each student’s individual profile and preferences help guide our staff to which animal assisted therapy may be appropriate for the student to participate in.
Lionheart has received a donation of a fully-trained service dog, LANGLEY, from the paws4people™ foundation. Five staff members are certified handlers for LANGLEY. She works with our students at school as well as with our students when they travel out into the community. As the use of service dogs develops, additional dogs will be trained and used accordingly.
An occupational therapist with a degree in equine animal sciences provides hippotherapy for our students out at our equine center, Lioncrest Farms in Canton. “Hippotherapy” refers to therapy aided by a horse.