It’s a new academic year for the vocational programs. This brings forth time to plan and develop new therapy programs for the participants at the Learning Centre.

They have added an exciting new therapy that will help participants and bring some four-legged love into their lives.

The Learning Centre is a special education program designed to support adults, aged 17 and older  with differing abilities and sensory needs to lead a full life. 

“Our programs are routine based, meeting the individual needs of our participants. We provide community-based services that maximize development, community involvement, inclusion, independence, and participants’ contribution to the society in which they live,” explained Michelle Schwabe, program manager.

She added that the therapeutic support workers who work alongside the participants were tasked with thinking outside the box, as the Learning Centre needed a few more therapeutic community programs since COVID-19 broke down some of our connections.

“Discussions occurred about different therapies that benefit our participant base, and pet therapy came up. After some research and filling out paperwork, our first session occurred today, September 28, 2022!” Michelle explained.

This will be a weekly therapy for the participants.

Therapy dogs can help people with autism build social communication, manage their emotions, and build play skills. They are also used to support positive social interactions with peers.

The service is provided thanks to St. John’s Ambulance. Their therapy dog program has certified therapists and certified dogs. The dogs are highly trained and have to pass a very strict course, and so do the handlers.

Michelle added, “We are so grateful that we can provide this unique therapy with their assistance.”