Cats and Dogs: Pets Are Good Buddies for Kids with Autism
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Jaime Herndon
Pets are known to help social interaction in people, and studies have shown benefits regarding dogs and children with autism. But a new study by Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, research fellow in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine's Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) at the University of Missouri, has found that children with autism are more likely to introduce themselves, be assertive, and respond to questions if they live with any pet.
When animals are in the home or classroom, children in general (including those with autism) tend to interact with each other more and talk more. The benefits have been shown to increase the longer the child has lived with the animal. The strongest bonds tended to be with smaller dogs, but any pet shows benefits for a child with autism.
Published: January 7, 2015
Photo: Willem Siers