Animals and autism – Ethics and Safety Part 7

In this final post of the series I’ll be looking at some of the ethical issues that arise when using animals in therapy and in particular the use of exotic animals. Whilst for the majority of people Animal Assisted Interventions will involve the use of smaller domestic animals, when it comes to animals assisting with […]

Animals and autism – which animal? Part 6

When it comes to choosing which animal might be appropriate for people with autism a number of factors could play a part. Whilst potentially any animal from a goldfish to an elephant (more on the use of exotic animals in my next post) can be of assistance, time, money, facilities and personal preferences all need […]

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 […]

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 […]

Animals and Autism – Just what is behind it?

As yet another story emerges about the amazing affect animals can have on the lives of people with autism, The Huffington Post published an article on May 4, Boy with Aspergers’s kisses his mom for the first time after adopting loving rescue pit bull. I thought I’d share a few insights into why this is. […]

Horses helping with Autism

I first came to horses some years ago as an adult.  As a child they had been my overriding obsession but the opportunity to have much contact with them, let alone have one of my own was never a remote possibility.  Looking back I wonder how much difference that contact would have made as I […]