Animals May Play Bigger Role Than Toys In Aiding Autistic Children



Published:

Previous research has demonstrated that the presence of animals can stimulate social interaction among humans.

A study by Marguerite O'Haire, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Queensland in Australia, and three other researchers found that participants demonstrated more social behaviors such as talking, looking at faces and making tactile contact when in the presence of animals compared to toys.

“The presence of an animal appears to encourage socialization among children with autism and their peers,” O'Haire said. “When with an animal, children with autism smiled and laughed more often, were more talkative, and looked at people's faces more than they did when with toys.”

The study involved 33 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 66 typically developing peers. Groups of one ASD child and two peers were recorded playing with toys and then with two guinea pigs.

Researchers found that ASD children displayed more pro-social behaviors and positive effects when in the presence of animals compared to toys and less frowning, crying and whining.

An estimated one in every 50 U.S. children has ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study was published in late February in PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed online publication.

The results also were posted in HABRI Central, an online hub of the Washington, D.C.-based Human Animal Bond Research Initiative. The nonprofit foundation promotes the positive role animals play in the health and well-being of people, families and communities

<HOME>

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Read More

Lincoln Memorial Vet College Names New Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Dr. John Dascanio has more than 25 years of educational experience with veterinary colleges.

It’s B-a-a-c-k! Livestock Virus Returns

Cases are reported in Texas, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

Tuskegee Grad Wins Bayer Communications Award

Dr. Chad Malpass topped 26 other finalists in the third annual contest.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events


Show More...
Edit Module
Edit Module