#076: AAT in Speech Language Pathology with Tamara and Ginger

by | March 27, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Tamara + Ginger

Tamara and Ginger are a Certified Therapy Dog team with big plans to increase representation in Speech Language Pathology.

In this 76th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Tamara Stroble and her Goldendoodle, Ginger, about their adventure as a Certified Therapy Dog team and her plans to bring animal-assisted therapy into her speech-language pathology work.

Tamara talks about her experience training energetic Ginger, focusing on the importance of choosing a dog with the right qualities for therapy work and matching their personalities with the places they’ll work. We discuss how Ginger knows when it’s time to work and how her behavior changes based on the situation.

We explore the benefits of using therapy dogs in speech-language therapy and the tactics they use to make it successful. Tamara shares her goals to increase diversity and representation in the therapy dog world and in the speech and language impaired community.

We also chat about the importance of understanding a therapy dog’s limits and working within them, as well as resources and recommendations for therapy dog training and professional groups.

In this uplifting episode, you’ll learn about the joys and challenges of working with a therapy dog in speech-language pathology, and the importance of building a more diverse and inclusive future in the field. Join us and be inspired by Tamara and Ginger’s amazing journey!

In this episode, we discuss …

  • How Tamara’s experience at a rehabilitation hospital inspired her to pursue animal-assisted therapy.
  • What Tamara looked for in selecting a puppy to become a therapy dog.
  • How Tamara aims to increase representation in her field while educating others on how to integrate AAT.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

Note that the timecodes match the video, not the podcast.

  • [02:14] Tamara shares her first encounter with animal assisted therapy 10 years ago in a rehabilitation hospital.
  • [05:28] The importance of finding a dog with the right qualities for therapy work is discussed.
  • [08:50] Tamara talks about overcoming pressure during therapy dog classes by focusing on making it fun.
  • [10:11] Tamara recalls a training session where she danced with Ginger in Home Depot to create distractions.
  • [12:49] Tamara explains her goal of normalizing the use of therapy dogs in speech-language therapy.
  • [14:08] The use of hand signals to help a student communicate with a therapy dog is discussed.
  • [15:35] Tamara shares Ginger’s positive response to her first hospital visit and interactions with people.
  • [18:52] I recommend a free training resource called “Being an Informed Therapy Dog Handler” created by the University of Saskatchewan.
  • [23:00] Tamara shares her excitement for developing a curriculum for speech therapy with animal-assisted therapy, featuring Ginger as her first partner.
  • [24:06] Tamara discusses her goals to increase diversity and representation in the therapy dog world and within the speech and language impaired community.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!

Mentioned in this episode:

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Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review.

Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.

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