Midwestern University Clinics Illinois Specialty Care Institute Therapy Dog Visit

Therapy Dog Visits Speech-Language Institute

October 27, 2015

A special visitor stopped by Midwestern University’s Speech-Language Institute and brought smiles to clients and students alike. Darby, a trained therapy dog, and her handler made the rounds visiting clients during their sessions with student clinicians.

At the Speech-Language Institute, licensed faculty clinicians and students work together to help clients improve their ability to communicate. The Institute offers speech and language therapy for children and adults with a wide range of diagnoses that have corresponding speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

The use of therapy dogs to help people improve communication skills has been an established practice for several years. The dogs are specially trained to have a calming and therapeutic effect on the humans they visit.

“We had this wonderful opportunity to incorporate a therapy dog into sessions with some of our clients and with this came a chance to see clients relax and engage with Darby. The student clinicians noted the increased verbal expression and social interactions the dog inspired in their clients and can begin to think about how to incorporate a service such as this in their own future work experiences,” said Kathleen Post, M.S., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Speech-Language Pathology.

As Darby walked the halls of the Speech-Language Institute, she was greeted with an enthusiastic response from everyone she met. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a veteran therapy dog with more than nine years of experience visiting with patients at Edward Hospital. After spending time with Darby, the clients at the Speech-Language Institute received a photo card of the dog as a memento of the encounter.

For more information about Midwestern University’s Speech-Language Institute, contact 630-743-4500.

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