Studies show that pets are good social buffers for children with autism

New York — These days, more and more children with autism are benefiting from the company of their highly-trained service dogs. It has been proven many times over that service dogs are capable of making positive impacts on children with autism, especially when it comes to socialization. Now it appears that cats can also have […]

Animals and Autism – What’s behind it Part 5

We’ve looked at ways animals can directly benefit people with autism in terms of increased socialisation and communication. In this post we’ll consider how animals may be able to bring benefits to the wider family. A 2009 study (Mancil et al) of stress in parents of children with disabilities, found that parents of children with […]

Cat who saved child with autism from a dog attack gets ‘Hero Dog’ Award – w/video

Bakersfield, Calif. — A brave cat who defied all odds to save a child with autism from a vicious attack from their neighbor’s dog was given a ‘Hero Dog‘ Award. Autism Daily Newscast  last reported on this story, Family Cat saves Young Boy with Autism from Savage Dog Attack, back in May 2014. Tara the cat […]

Myth: Autism and the Pet Bond

Or at least that was what I was led to believe by seeing countless articles about autistic kids and the tremendous bonds they developed with their pets. So much that I felt guilty of denying my kids the opportunity. We had been a petless family since just before my twins autism diagnosis – I had […]

Girl Scout develops program pairing children with and therapy dogs – w/ video

Fairfax, CA – A local teen has created a program geared towards pairing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and therapy dogs in hopes of both receiving a top Girl Scout award and serving her community. Rachel Blackman, an 18-year-old Scout from Fairfax, decided to embark on the project in an effort to enable children with […]

Opinion: Self-harm Video shows Heroism of a Dog

Watching Danielle Jacob’s recent posting on You Tube of a meltdown in which she self-harms and her dog Samson comforts her was a bitter sweet viewing. Bitter because it shows what so many of us on the spectrum go through behind closed doors – the despair and pain of our locked in worlds where it […]

Autism and Animals – What’s behind it? Part 4

Animals motivating communication In previous posts we looked at the potential of animals to reduce anxiety and promote social skills. But can it go beyond this? Can interacting with animals  promote interaction between people with autism who might otherwise  not wish to engage with  those around them?  The evidence suggests yes. There are many anecdotal […]

Animals and Autism – What’s behind it? Part 3

In my previous post I looked at ways in which animals can help reduce anxiety in people with autism. In this post I will look at ways in which animals can help teach social skills and different perspectives. All people on the spectrum struggle to some extent with social interaction – social difficulties are an […]

Animals and Autism – What’s behind it Part 2

In my last post I gave a brief overview of how animal therapy came about and of its particular significance to autism. In this post I’ll look at how animals can help reduce fear and anxiety in autism. We’re all familiar with the goldfish in the dentist waiting room or the popular belief that stroking […]

Press Release – Animals’ presence may ease social anxiety in kids with autism

NIH-funded study could have implications for treatment When animals are present, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have lower readings on a device that detects anxiety and other forms of social arousal when interacting with their peers. According to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, companion animals—like dogs, cats or […]