Help Kids With Autism?
Science shows that interacting with animals may have big health benefits. Pets can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase the amount of exercise people get and decrease stress. Now, a new study finds that animals also may significantly increase positive social behaviors in children who have an autism spectrum disorder.
"The presence of animals appears to encourage social interaction among children with autism," study author Marguerite O'Haire, a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland in Australia, told The Huffington Post. "Including an animal in children's playtime or home activities may be an effective way to encourage socialization with other children as well as adults."
Ninety-nine children ages 5 to 13 from four primary schools in Brisbane, Australia -- some who were autistic and some who were not -- were monitored as they either played with toys or interacted with two guinea pigs, their classroom pets. When they were with the guinea pigs, the children with autism were more likely to talk and look at their peers than when they were with the toys, which included dolls, art supplies and Beyblade tops. They were also more open to their fellow students approaching them and were less likely to cry or whine.
Click the link to read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/27/animals-autism-pets-asd_n_2776373.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living&ir=Healthy%20Livinggton Post
Story and photo courtesy of Huffington Post