Impact of animal-assisted therapy on oral reading fluency of second-graders.
Walsh, Alison Eckert.
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Animal programs have been utilized in a variety of settings. Programs exist in prisons, juvenile homes, hospices, retirement homes, treatment centers, homeless shelters, schools, and hospitals. This study looked at the effects of using Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) with the use of a dog on three lower-performing students’ oral reading fluency in second grade. A multiple baseline design was implemented with the three lowest-performing male students in oral reading fluency. The outcomes included: the dog’s presence increased students’ oral reading fluency and increased students’ motivation to read. Each student increased their oral reading words per minute and enjoyed time spent with the dog. Duration was a problem in the study, and words per minute were not sustained throughout the end of the year after the dog left. In the future, a researcher could replicate this study with a variety of different components. A home component of reading to a dog or family pet could make reading more fun, and contribute to sustaining growth in the classroom.
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