Animal Assisted Therapy
Animal Assisted Intervention, or AAI, and Animal Assisted Therapy, or AAT, are goal driven treatment intervention provided under the direction of a highly trained practitioner, guided by standards of practice as outlined by their profession along with the assistance of a specially trained furry assistant and their handler in order to address functional outcomes as outlined through an individualized evaluation to determine the patient’s needs as well as guide the clinician in outlining the most appropriate approach to support their patient in attaining functional goals and improved quality of life.
Animal Assisted Interventions are utilized in order to improve physical, cognitive, sensory and/or social function, as appropriate, based upon a mutual agreed upon, client-centered plan of care resulting from the evaluative process along with clinical reasoning in its application to ensure “goodness of fit.” The provider must first assess the patient’s abilities and analyze the tasks within which the animal will assist in the provision of the intervention in order to determine the “just right challenge” for each patient. The clinician must also consider the safety of the patient as well as that of the furry assistant in order to optimize the “therapeutic fun factor” and minimize any risks of injury to anyone involved. If you’re interested in learning more about this intervention or have any questions, please visit the following link or ask your therapist. We love answering questions; it keeps us on our toes!