Today is World Autism Awareness Day, so it’s time to scruff up the support! Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Although a cure hasn’t been discovered just yet, pets (or even service pets) seem to be a natural treatment for this disorder! Here’s why:
5. Pets serve as “social lubricants.” A service pet will attract people, just like any other pet would. These social interactions will better acclimate the child to socializing with others in different environments. A service pet can act as his or her own personal wingman!
4. They improve the child’s assertiveness. Many children with autism have problems with introducing and including themselves in groups of other children. Autistic children with service pets are more likely to be more assertive!
3. The kindness and gentleness of an autism assistance pet helps the child by just being there. Being tolerant of a child that never “grows up” is a hefty task. These children make crazy noises and funny body language, may not speak and may want to do compulsive behaviors over and over. Animals, especially dogs, can be tasked-trained to use touch intervention, as well as pressure intervention and mobility assistance when these repetitive or self-injurious behaviors occur. Dr. Fido, reporting for duty!
2. With its unconditional love and inherent patience, a service pet can lend far more support than any particular person or parent can offer by themselves. All of that puppy love has got to count for something, right?!
1. It overall improves a child’s social skill set. New research has found that autistic children with pets are more social, communicative, and assertive than those with out a furry, four-legged companion. One more reason (actually, five more reasons) as to why adopting a pet is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
Animal therapy has become increasingly popular over the years treating a variety of illnesses including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy, and cancer.
Although parents may assume that a dog might be the best type of animal for their autistic child, it has to be noted that every individual is different. A dog might not work for everyone. There’s a world of animals that could be used as a comforting cuddle buddy for your autistic child!
One more tip: Don’t forget to wear blue with pride!!
Adopt your next pet HERE!
For more information and to support autism, click HERE!