Are therapeutic guinea pigs a thing?
These big little guys sure proved their worth last week (not that they weren’t worthy already!)
We were scheduled to meet a very young toddler for an assessment, knowing ahead of time that he would probably be a little overwhelmed and want to stick to his mom’s lap and maybe hide his face in her shirt for a bit. That’s what toddlers sometimes do no matter what, but when you add sensory sensitivity to the mix, you have to take things slow and read the situation before jumping into assessment mode.
I don’t think I saw this little boy’s face for at least the first 10 minutes after he arrived since it was buried behind his mom’s skirt. He hung onto her legs while she walked into our backyard. I was thinking we might need to schedule an additional session so he would feel comfortable and we could get an accurate assessment.
Once he peeked around his mom’s skirt and saw Jelly and Marmalade’s cage, he lit right up and let go of his mom’s skirt and did a little dance! He was seriously SO excited. Pointing at them and giggling. Just came right out of his shell and we were able to get all the info we needed without him coming back again for more (although I have a feeling he will want to come back again anyway!)
So thank you, Professor Jelly and Doctor Marmalade, you saved the day! I’m sure it won’t be the last time.
So yes, therapeutic guinea pigs are a thing.