Research strongly indicates that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) benefit from interaction with animals.
Improved Social Behavior and Interaction
A review of current literature on the effectiveness of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) for children with ASD found AAI to be effective in:
- Increasing social functioning seen through
- Increased social awareness
- Increased social interaction
- Decreased social isolation
- Increased social motivation
- Increased social skills and behaviors
- Increasing safety, independence and socio-emotional functioning
Another study found that in the presence of companion animals, children with ASD demonstrated:
- Increased display of social behaviors including talking, making physical contact and looking at faces.
- Improved positive social behaviors including becoming more receptive to social advances from peers.