Why Pets Are Autistic Kids’ Best Friends

Research demonstrates that spending time with pets can help autistic children develop social skills:

‘The study, from French researchers, is the first strong scientific evidence that animals may help foster social skills in individuals with autism, but it also reinforces what clinicians have been hearing anecdotally for years.

“We hear from parents a lot that having a pet or interacting with an animal really helps their child’s social behavior, but there hasn’t been a study so far that has looked at that scientifically,” said Alycia Halladay, director of environmental research at Autism Speaks. “This offers some intriguing evidence to confirm what parents have been saying.

How do pets help:

  • Pets are predictable. Some owners would disagree but pets have smaller range of predictable emotions comparing to humans. This can help autistic kids recognise their pets’ emotions more easily.
  • Pets have buckets of time. Research shows that one of the biggest factor in teaching autistic kids healthy social interaction is the amount of interaction. Pets don’t go to work, they have no other commitments, other then eating perhaps. Their diary is wide open.
  • It’s that thing – unconditional love. Humans tend to place judgement on their interaction with others. Even if it’s subconscious judgement. Pets don’t. Their love is unconditional. Autistic children perceive this in ways we sometimes don’t.
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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

3 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Topical Teaching and commented:
    Courtesy of Dr. Chelom’s brilliant blog, a breakthrough finding that may prove extremely beneficial for autistic children.

  2. Reblogged this on supertucksmama and commented:
    I could not agree more with this! My hat is always tipped to our Kinzie (Our boxer) for her patience with Tuck. Enjoy 🙂

  3. I could not agree more with this. I am constantly amazed at our boxer, Kinzie, and her undeniable patience and love for Tuck. It truly is an incredible bond they share. I had to share this!

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