Dogs are transforming the lives of deaf children

by Mark James on March 7, 2012

While dogs have always been the number one choice for a companion, it appears that they have many other uses aside from keeping their owner company. It is estimated that there are over 45,000 deaf children throughout the United Kingdom and more children than ever before are now getting assistance to build independence and confidence with the help of a dog.

Derbyshire based James Cheung, who is 11 years old, is one of these children. Being hard of hearing limits James to doing everything he wants to on his own, yet despite this a golden Labrador retriever named Kurt has changed his life. Kurt has received training in all aspects of sound management, such as the noises that may regularly occur within the household.

It can become challenging for James to hear sounds such as the telephone ringing and the doorbell tone. Kurt is able to alert the young boy and has made such a major impact on his life that he says:

“I can’t remember life without him.”

There is also factual proof that dogs are great companions and a good addition to a deaf child’s life, due to the findings from a recent study that was conducted.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People carried out the survey, which studied how 12 different deaf children benefited from having these companions around, not only to assist them, but to keep them company too. Specially trained dogs are said to make a difference in areas such as building confidence, improving sleeping patterns and enhancing a child’s attention span.

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