Pets a Positive for Autistic Kids

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A University of Missouri researcher studied dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism, discovering that the children often respond positively to a family pet, if well chosen. Researcher Gretchen Carlisle found the parents reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility. Carlisle does point out that while her study focused only on dog ownership among families affected by autism, not all children with autism would benefit from having a dog. “Dogs may be best for some families, although other pets such as cats, horses or rabbits might be better suited to other children with autism and their particular sensitivities and interests,” she said.
Carlisle’s study, “Pet Dog Ownership Decisions for Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder“, was published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Read more here

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