ACADEMY OF LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT, ANDHERI, MUMBAI
The Academy of Learning and Development was established by Mr Ajinkya Deo and Mrs. Arti Deo, as an effort to make available all the knowledge and experience that they had acquired over the past 15 years for the benefit of the countless number of children with special needs in our country.
The principles that the Academy runs on is the belief that function determines structure and stimulating the brain with increased intensity, frequency and duration will help the child move towards achieving his or her fullest potential. They attempt to address the root cause of the disability (i.e. the brain injury) rather than the symptoms.
Animal Assisted Therapy fit in perfectly with this principle. With the therapy dog Pepe (Golden Retriever) being a package providing sensory and metal stimulation, the child gets to experience various sensations and also an opportunity to exercise his abilities. Thus the presence and interaction with the therapy dog, stimulates the brain and helps the kids in discovering their abilities.
In the pilot phase of just 8 sessions, we saw tremendous change in the children, from children who could not move, trying to crawl towards Pepe, to children attempting to walk with Pepe without their crutches. Pepe also helped children with hyperactivity to calm down and focus better.