Amir interacting with some koi
Hello Valued Supporters,
As we stand on the cusp of a new academic year, we would like to share with you the inspiring story of one of our Animal Assisted Therapy program participants.
For seven year old Amir, the world used to be a lonely place because he suffered from selective mutism - an anxiety condition in which a person, who is normally capable of speech, is unable to speak in given situations. As a result, Amir’s communication with others was severely impaired and when he started the program, he spoke very little and only to close family members. His counselor noticed that he was drawn to the fish in the zoo’s aquariums. The immediate parallels are obvious: fish do not, and are not expected to make any sounds. His counsellor suggested that he might like to take care of the fish and he was assisted in doing so during the duration of the program. Gradually, Amir relaxed enough to talk to the fish he cared for and later gained the confidence to talk to other people about the fish. This process eventually facilitated his exposure to other animals and started him on the road to normal communication.
Every year, this unique and special program helps many children like Amir to overcome their physical and emotional challenges and to realize their full potential. Thank you for making this possible.
The Animal Assisted Therapy Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Amir took care of fish as part of his therapy
Aquatic animals play a positive role in therapy