Friday, April 26, 2013

“Soft and in my heart”

Today is Feeling Fabulous Friday and we want to share a first-hand testament to the benefits of having a pet for special needs individuals!

Recently there have been news reports about Twinkie the pig and her pal Kason. Kason, a young boy with special needs, and Twinkie are true friends. The family almost lost Twinkie due to city threats that the family couldn’t keep Twinkie because a pig is considered livestock. They explained why they fought hard to keep Twinkie; why Twinkie is such an important member of the family.

Kason even expressed his feelings about Twinkie:
Kason’s Mother: What do you like about Twinkie?"
Kason: "To pet her."
Kason’s Mother: "You like to pet her. Is she soft?"
Kason: "Soft and in my heart."
Reporter: "She's in your heart?"
Kason: "Yup!"

Photo Credit:

This report is so touching. It is a testament to recent research about the impact of animal exposure on children with special needs. We've gathered some lists of potential benefits for special needs children for families to consider.

Benefits of Pet Interaction for Special Needs Individuals:
·         Pets provide love and unconditional acceptance
·         They create calm rather than create stress
·         Pets provide an opportunity for children to develop social skills
·         When allowed to be involved in animal care, kids develop responsibility
·         Caring for their pet boosts confidence because they are relied on
·         Animals have been known to improve the results of physical therapy

Of course, it is always important to be mindful about the safety of both children and pets. We recommend parents always monitor children playing with pets.

Kason and Twinkie’s heartwarming story has left us feeling fabulous today. Easter Seals Florida is so encouraged by stories like this and hope the information above is helpful.

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