Pets help autistic children to develop self-confidence

A pet can significantly improve social interaction of children with autism. If in previous studies the focus was on dogs, a new study showed that any pet has a positive effect on the child .

Scientists say that a pet is a great advantage in the treatment of autistic children.

The comparison showed that children with autism, in the house where the dog lives, have better social skills than those with no pet. But more importantly, any pet has a positive impact on the child’s behavior – he’s more willing to contact with people and answering their questions, says Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, research fellow Research centre for the study of interaction between man and animal (Research Center for human-animal interaction ReCHAI) College of Veterinary medicine University of Missouri.

Typically, these social skills are given to autistic children with difficulty, but, as research has shown that Pets helped them develop confidence.

The presence of animals in the home or the classroom promotes more active communication healthy children with each other. The same applies to autistic people.

According to Carlisle, when healthy children see on the street “special” children, kotoryjraspolagaet pet, they stop, and between children tied communication.

Children with autism are not always easy to interact with other people, but if there is a pet to which a child feels affection, the visitor, who will start a conversation about the pet will most likely get the answer, says the researcher.

Scientists have also noticed a correlation: the longer the family lives in the dog, the better the children developed social skills. With age, however, this relationship weakens. Also children with limited communication skills more attached to smaller dogs. As a pet such children are also suitable cats and rabbits.

Dr. Carlisle surveyed 70 families with children with autism aged 8 to 18 years. Nearly 70 percent of households had dogs, almost 50 per cent of cats. Some families kept fish, rodents, rabbits, reptiles, birds and even one spider lived.