In recent years, media news on the subject of children has devoted many column inches and much airtime to the issues of bullying, classroom indiscipline, youth crime, the decreasing age of young offenders and increased incidences of child abuse, etc,. The situation is becoming more and more serious and worrying. The negative impact of such social decay on children is immense and an arsenal of new measures to rescue children is required.
One of the more promising methods for helping emotionally-withdrawn children to open up is said to be ‘animal assisted therapy’. Through the opportunity to take care of an animal, and using his senses instead of textbooks, a child can learn many things about ‘respect for, and responsibility, for life’, as well as about consideration for others in general.
We adults must recover, for our more troubled children, the bright futures and happy smiles that all children inherit as a birthright. We must all think what we can do for our children.
For this 2010 symposium we have invited Ms. Miyako Kinoshita who provides animal assisted therapy for the Green Chimneys organization and Dr. Shigeki Nakao of Kansai University of International Studies, an educator concerned with childhood mental health care. They have been asked to provide a report and update our participants on the current situation of animal assisted therapy and managing psychological crisis in children. We aim to gain a grasp of the common issues and greater understanding.