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explore: Dr. Dog
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explore: Dr. Dog

Education and personal growth can come in many forms. The Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation brings dogs into schools to help children break through their shyness, especially the developmentally challenged. Children with ADD, autism, and other developmental disabilities improve their speaking and social skills with the help of the program. 

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Learn more about the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation.

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Segment 1

DR. NANDITHA KRISHNA [Director, C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation]
I'm Nanditha Krishna. I'm the director of the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation. The Foundation has set up many institutes, such as the C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, the C.P.R. Institute of Hindulogical Research, C.P. Art Centre, and the Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children with dyslexia, autism, learning disabilities, ADD, and so on. Dr. Dog is a program that was really started in Hong Kong by Animals Asia Foundation. In Chennai there are about 20 dogs in the program. They go to different schools. Some of the schools are for the retarded children with Down's syndrome and so on. We found that it was very good at making children speak.
YOUTH
His name is Mikey. Yes, Mi-key. M-I-K-E-Y.
YOUTH
I have a dog. It's a boxer. Its name is Bruno. Very friendly. Loves to play with people. My pastime is, you know, spending time with them.
DR. NANDITHA KRISHNA
Dogs are not threatening. The child feels superior, and there's no pressure on the child, whereas when the parents say "do this," or the teacher tries to teach -- in the kindest way possible -- that is still too much pressure on the child. Talk to Jawal. Ask her, ask her what she ate for breakfast.
YOUTH
What did you eat? Jawal, what did you eat?
DR. NANDITHA KRISHNA
Whereas here he's talking to another being who cannot talk at all.
YOUTH
Yeah, dogs are so friendly.
YOUTH
It's a golden retriever, what I've got at home.
DR. NANDITA KRISHNA
It is so much easier when there is a dog and they are able to talk.
YOUTH
If you love to be with dogs, it's not hard at all.
YOUTH
I take him for walks every day.
DR. NANDITA KRISHNA
We just saw a case of a young boy who could barely speak, and who brought out one sentence, to tell the dog to give him a kiss.
YOUTH
Good to have a dog. It's fun.
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