Animal assisted therapy is a useful modality that can be easily incorporated into the therapy session. Animals under these environments facilitate an atmosphere of trust; incites empathy and attachment and allows a relationship building process between the patient and therapist.
Buttercup is our one year old Vietnamese Potbelly. He has been part of our family from the time he was eight weeks old. When he first came to us he was a sweet little guy, no bigger than a Guinea pig who enjoyed snuggling, and although he has grown considerably he’s still sweet as ever and still enjoys his snuggle time.
Buttercup wasted no time, he began socializing by the time he was 12 weeks old. He frequently visited our local elementary schools where he got to play and show his tricks to different grade level children.
Today as a certified (AAT) animal by the Delta Society Buttercup works with children and adults. Regardless of age, all look forward to his visits. Students who may not remember their goals or lessons…always remember and ask about Buttercup; he has started many conversations and inspires good social pragmatic skills. Buttercup has been a motivator in the therapy environment; because of this our clients stay on task, initiate and maintain communication making goals attainable in shorter time.
Our Occupational Therapists use him for sensory integration and fine motor coordination. Who does not want to dress him up and have a picture? Buttercup has been an asset in our therapy and will continue to work along side therapists, when appropriate, to enhance and enrich the therapeutic environment.
Why the name "Buttercup?"
I can’t think of a better way to make a quick assessment and a client to practice their articulation skills. Read on.
Definition: Diadochokinetic rate refers to an assessment tool; used by speech-language pathologists that measures how quickly an individual can accurately produce a series of rapid, alternating sounds. These sounds, also called tokens, may be one syllable such as “puh,” two or three syllables such as “puh-tuh-kuh,” or familiar words such as “patty cake” or “buttercup."
Purpose: Diadochokinetic rate is one means of assessing oral motor skills; DDK rate provides information about a person’s ability to make raid speech movements using different parts of his mouth. For example, the sounds “puh” “tuh” “kuh” use the front (the lips), middle (the tip of the tongue), and the back of the mouth (the soft palette), respectively. Evaluation of DDK rate usually occurs as part of oral motor skill assessment, the assessment consists of other tests that are beyond the scope of this page.
Newman is a six year old quarter horse. He stands 16 hands tall and is considered to be a paint by the AQHA. Newman has been part of our family for approximately three years. He is a wonderful boy who exhibits great character and calm desposition in most situations.
Newman has been in training most of his life, and shows great potential as a future all around therapy horse. All he needs is time; until he matures and reaches that point, Newman only works with experienced confident riders.
Penelope-jo is our wonderful six year old pug. She joined our family at the age of eight weeks. PJ has received constant training throughout the years. She is friendly, loving and always ready to engage you to play or just to sit and be petted.
PJ enjoys her off time as much as the rest of the family. She particularly enjoys the yearly family camping trip where she can swim, jump on the water trampoline or take a ride on the Jet Ski.