Therapy Dogs Help Kids With Trauma Feel Calm Enough To Tell Their Stories
The dogs of the K9th Circuit Program are the ultimate therapy dogs for kids in courtrooms. In 2014, Orlando, Florida created a community outreach program called Companions for Courage where dogs provide a sense of secruity to children testifying in court.
"Think about how a child must feel. They have to face the person who has hurt them, they have to sit in front of a bunch of strangers and tell a really painful story, and most of the time they're not even with their family while they're testifying," said Joanne Rittenhouse, one of the dog handlers. "All the dogs make everyone calm; they have a good presence," she continued.
Studies have shown that people are better able to recollect facts and provide more accurate information regarding traumatic events when they are calm. With the assistance of the dog teams, children and adults are able to relieve their anxiety about the underlying traumatic events and provide more precise testimonies in court proceedings.
One very special therapy dog named Karl is one of 6 dogs in the K9 Circuit Program. He was born deaf, knows sign language, and is an amazing support to the kids.
"Karl gave her the courage to go through with the trial. I couldn't even get her out of the car when we first started and towards the end she was getting out of the car just to go and see Karl," added dog handler Carol Feiner.
As a part of the community outreach program, "Companions for Courage is about the victim and the dog. It's a bond, and a sense of security that the animal brings to the child – to give them the confidence and courage to face that scary place."
"Children feel protected to have this dog by their side" said Joanne. Since the program started, the Companions for Courage have been involved in 23 cases. Companions for Courage is the approved Therapy Dog Provider for the 5th Judicial Circuit and Ninth Judicial Circuit Courts of Florida.
BUILD is a non-profit organization that uses entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of the youth who are most at-risk of dropping out of high school. More specifically, BUILD supplements traditional education with the skills to develop and run their own small businesses.
Being a kid can be tough. Especially if you are shy, making friends doesn't come easily. 10-year-old Christian agrees and did something to help. When he was in first grade, there was a chance his family had to move to Germany. Checking out his potential school online, Christian noticed a 'buddy bench' on the playground. They didn't end up moving, and Christian knew he had to have a bench at his school.
Inclusion Films, started by veteran filmmaker Joey Travolta (brother of actor John Travolta) in 2007, is a teaching studio for aspiring filmmakers with developmental disabilities.
4.6 million people in the U.S. live with a developmental disability... and that hasn't stopped these people from achieving their dreams! There are literally thousands of people and organizations supporting those with special needs. These 7 inspiring organizations and individuals are proof that once you put your mind to something, and are given a little bit of help, anything is possible!
They're known around the world for their viral Flashmob Spinning Marriage Proposal video and with the wedding quickly approaching, Adam Keller & Jared Marinelli are kicking it into high-gear to get all the last minute details done for their big day!
Every two years Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield, Connecticut displays thousands of flags in honor and remembrance of the American men and women who've fallen in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The site is truly amazing!