How pets help children with autism. Share stories and resources here.

Posted by: Felicity — almost 8 years ago (24 comments)

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Does anyone have an stories or resources regarding how pets can help children with autism?

 

Please share them here!

 

Thank You!

 

Comments

Posted by: Felicity — about 7 years ago

Here is a lovely article about a young boy on the spectrum who has a new and unusual pet which is helping him communicate and relate to others.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

 This a post by Jo Redman who has Asperger's, a condition on the autism spectrum. Jo is trying to promote awareness and more importantly understanding of Asperger's Syndrome and this is her moving post about the importance of pets to people with ?‎autism? & ?Aspergers.

Click here to read.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

Here is another article about how pets can help with Autistic Spectrum Conditions.

Click here to read.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

 A lovely article about a cat who is helping a student with autism.

Click here to read.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

The following video is about a rescued puppy who is helping students with autism.
 
Click here to watch.
 

 

Posted by: Hannah Clarke — over 7 years ago

 Hi story about a Pet's as Therapy Irish Setter called Sigh who visits youth clubs for young people with autism and other disabilities. Click here.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

Here is an article about how animals bring out positive social behaviours in kids with autism.

Please click here to read.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

This is a new article about how animals help autism spectrum conditions, please click here to read.

 

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

An article about how horses can help people with autism, please click here to read.

 

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

 'After Thomas' (2006) is a film which is based on a real-life story about a family with a little boy with autism that introduce a dog into theri home and the positive effects which follow.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

Here is another article about the benefits of children with autism interacting with therapy dogs

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

Another autism related movie - The Horse Boy.

This is one-of-a-kind story of a family willing to go to the ends of the earth to help their son's autism

Please click here for the trailer. The book is also available.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

 Another article - this one is about how therapy dogs can help children with autism. Please click here to read.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

Here (please click) is an article about nine ways that special dogs are helping children with special needs.

Posted by: Felicity — over 7 years ago

 Therapy Dogs: Help for autism - click here to view

Posted by: Ferret Help — almost 8 years ago

I represent a non-profit, all-volunteer organization called Ferret Help. Our volunteers include individuals with Aspergers, and we have recently helped the ferret belonging to a young lady living life on the spectrum in Bulgaria. We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in taking on one or more of these delightful, captivating little bundles as a "therapy pet". We are also most interested in working with professionals practising in relevant fields.

Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

From Nathan - New to the group, but not new to living a life on the spectrum. I have found that having a dog or dogs growing up helped in allowing me to privately and safely practice being social, dogs listen really well and even if you dont say the right thing they still give you positive feedback, simple gestures, or complex for me ones, gave me repetitive, consistent, and overtly positive feedback from the dog. This helped me at least when i was younger. Conversely, later in my adult years i found having a dog held me back because i found it a reason to not try to have meaningful adult communication. Part of me will always desires, and i would say needs, a dog, but for me at least what started as a healthy crutch does have complications later on. YMMV.

Via chat or email

 

Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

From Walter - Re 'After Thomas' - Intensly Emotional, Absolutely Fantastic Film, God Bless All Those Involved >>

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

From Jazel - My daughter was dx'd when she was 3.5 years old. She struggled to reciprocate emotionally and express her feelings of affection and love. Enter Oscar, a toy poodle, when she was about 5 yo. Within days she began expressing affection, caressing the dog, speaking to him, kissing him (she'd never kissed any of us before), caring about his well-being, playing with him, asking for him - it was as if the floodgates were opened and all the emotions that she didn't know how to express came rushing out. We sat back in amazement. I call him my magic Poodle. She became a very social child interacting with others on the playground when I brought Oscar to the school. Then enter Trinity, our German Shepherd when she was 7 yo. The bigger the dog got, the more they synced. Trin became her protector without us training her to do so. She can touch and lay next to that dog and kiss her face - Trin won't let anyone else do that. Then we got Chloe, our rescue Schmalti - Schnauzer-Maltese mix. She taught Chloe how to talk, sing, and jump. Fascinating. I don't know how much more evidence I can present about the magic of dogs.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

User A - We have 2 dogs in the house they have taught my son more about caring & love for an individual than any one therapy he has had. He knows they need his help to eat, to go out, to climb up ect.. ect...Most of all they are his friends and his companions when he is lonely and accept him for who is. Best decision by far we have made :)

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

From Jo - As a mom with 4 teens on the spectrum our 2 dogs have been the best thing for anxiety and socialisation.Since dogs our need for mental health professionals has reduced .
They also increase physical activity and provide a buffer for conversation topics that they aren't sure how to adress.

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

From John - As a Middle aged man with Asperger's Syndrome and with two children on the spectrum, I would say that I have the "insider's view" on the subject. This study focused only on socialization, which is useful enough. But the actual question is a bit misleading then. The actual question asked by the study is Do pets help children with autism (fit into society better)? If you want to study if pets actually help children with autism, you need to be looking at things like anxiety levels, number of meltdowns, and self esteem measures.
My own personal experience is that pets can be very helpful in making the lives of people on the spectrum easier, but that is only anecdotal evidence. I would hope that someone would do a proper study on this subject.

John Mark McDonald
Scintor@aol.com

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Posted by: Living Autism Moderator — almost 8 years ago

From Nancy - Service dogs in particular are trained specifically for the needs of ASD individuals and definitely DO make a positive impact on their lives. The family pat can be just as important. I will share two very different stories with you on the impact of pets/service animals.My daughter (22) is diagnosed ASD and does have anxiety problems. When her anxiety elevates or she is stressed over something she is experiencing as she tries to manuver her social life, I know immediately since her pet bunny is the first thing she gathers close to her to calm herself. I then wait nearby until she calms and then will open the communication door to hopefully discover the problem. The second story happened to me personally. I was attending a conference to promote my books and presentation service that I provide. It was a three day conference but due to my social anxiety disorder that can quickly elevate, during the first conference day, the crowds, noise and movement within the building began to overwhelm me and I was on a direct flight towards the exit door. Suddenly, a service dog stepped into my path and just stood there staring at me. I stopped, looked at him and them put my hand to his back and began patting him. Oh my!!!!! the only way I can describe this experience is, "the dog took my anxieties!" I was calmed in moments and able to return to my booth. Over the next two days, if I felt overwhelmed at any point, I would go visit my new friend and each time, I would calm. Never underestimate the power of animals. I contribute my survival of youth, undiagnosed and misunderstood to the horses. I spent my childhood with the best teachers..the horses. Animals have no hidden agenda..they accept you for you.

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Posted by: Felicity — almost 8 years ago

This is a clip from an ITV news article about a dog that helps an autistic boy who is fascinated with moving vehicles

 

Click here to see video