Gardening beneficial for children with special needs

Gardening could be beneficial for children with special needs, according to a health article by The Telegraph.

According to the paper, “research shows that horticultural therapy improves mental and physical well-being”.

The news comes not long after it was reported that gardening can help those with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

The Telegraph reported that an NHS-funded horticultural therapy unit was set up in Cumbria to help patients suffering from head injuries and dementia. Doctors are also using gardening to help patients suffering from anxiety and depression.

In its recent article, the paper said that gardening is now being used to help children with conditions such as Down’s Syndrome and Autism.

Natasha Etherington, a horticultural therapist from Canada, spoke of the benefits that gardening offers children.

“For years, you were told not to take children with special needs outdoors – that was for hippies,” she said.

“Now opinions are changing. Classrooms can be a sensory onslaught for these young people, but gardens are the opposite.”

She added: “Planting a flower and waiting for it to bloom gives delayed satisfaction that makes the children feel like they’re part of something, as well as providing a stress-free, relaxing environment.”