Animal Assisted Therapy
Animal Assisted Therapy at Ashley High School
Animal Assisted Therapy is increasingly being recognised as an effective tool, providing many benefits to those who participate in animal interaction. Animals can provide an emotional and social support system which is an important element to learning. At Ashley High School we strive to provide every opportunity for our students to overcome barriers enabling them to thrive both in the school environment and the outside world.
Social Development and Communication
At Ashley our animals help students to achieve their therapeutic goals. Contact with animals has shown to improve levels of communication - both verbal and non-verbal, increasing willingness to interact and participate in group-lead activities, building vital social skills. Animal Assisted Therapy also has a positive impact on anti-social behaviour by encouraging natural nurturing behaviour towards the animals.
Personal and Emotional Development
Contact with animals has been proven to promote a positive frame of mind resulting from an increased flow of ‘feel good’ hormones. Simply stroking an animal can stimulate this response, inducing relaxation and reduced anxiety. Students can build a bond with our animals, and if they wish they can partake in their care. Being given this responsibility is a great learning opportunity and has a real positive effect on self-esteem.
Our 7 aquariums are an effective calming mechanism and have proved to be very popular with both students and staff alike!
The welfare of our animals is paramount. Students who wish to be involved learn the correct way to care for the animals, and this is overseen by staff at all times.