Pets and animals increase positive social behavior in Children with Autism.

A new study has pointed out the obvious, that the presence of a pet can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with (ASD).

of have long been aware of the positive impact of teaching and consideration for a pet and the impact on the of a child.

E O’Haire has transferred this concept into and compared how 5-13 year old children with ASD interacted with adults and typically-developing in the presence of two guinea pigs compared to toys.

It was found that in the presence of pets, children with ASD demonstrated more social behaviors like talking, looking at faces and making physical contact. Children were also more receptive to social interaction and advances from their in the presence of the animals than they were when playing with toys. The presence of animals also increased instances of smiling and laughing, and reduced frowning, whining and crying behaviors in children with ASD more than having toys did.

The research points to the fact that animal specific intervention may have a therapeutic benefit in classrooms and may help foster interactions with therapists, teachers or other adult figures and reduce stress associated with an autistic child’s of a classroom and its occupants.


(2013, February 27). show increased positive social behaviors when animals are present.

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