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 in children with spectrum disorders ().

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

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

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


Public Library of Science (2013, February 27). Children with show increased positive when are present.

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