American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Preschoolers' Speech Development Helped By Animal-Assisted Therapy

ASHA Members WIll Discuss Related Research And Implications During 2010 ASHA Convention In Phildelphia

Editors: First Author Available For Interviews During And After Convention

(Rockville, MD - November 15, 2010)  

Research shows that preschool children increased the number and complexity of utterances and had greater use/variety of speech acts during animal-assisted therapy, according to researchers who will be presenting their findings during the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Annual Convention in Philadelphia this week.

According to ASHA member Sheila Bernstein and her co-presenters, there was a positive correlation between the presence of a dog and increased language use and complexity by children. One child stated that he was afraid of the dog, but then went on to explain in detail, to the dog, why he was afraid—thereby reinforcing the results of the study.  

The researchers will discuss their findings on Thursday, November 18, at 3:00 p.m. in Hall C at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Effects of a Therapy Dog on Language Complexity of Preschoolers, Session #1237, Poster Board #272).

Their presentation is part of ASHA's Annual Convention, which begins November 18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Convention will feature 3 days of workshops, paper sessions, poster presentations, and the Keynote Session by Nancy Goodman Brinker (Founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation), plus the Annie Glenn Award, which will be given to performing artist and "New Kid on the Block" Joey McIntyre. The Convention runs through Saturday, November 20.

These important findings are one example of the research being discussed during ASHA's Annual Convention. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists, as well as other speech, language, and hearing scientists, gather every year at ASHA's Convention to share their research with their colleagues. This sharing of information results in better care for the people they serve.


About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 140,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.


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